PCS Lower School Students STEAM Ahead to Test the Laws of Physics


(Left) 2nd grader Maxwell deBrito tests his aluminum foil boat for buoyancy. (Right) Kindergartener Cassidy Weigand dons her bot attire as part of a technology inquiry.

Add a dash of color, ribbon, pipe cleaners, glue, and glitter and you’ve added the A in Art to a STEM night – a night of family fun that weaves art into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The theme for the evening, which was the brainchild of STEM specialist Stacy Gale and Lower School art teacher Michelle Carden, was “Inquiry and Design”. At each of the STEAM stations, students encountered an inquiry question such as “Can you make a boat that floats?” or “Can you design a bird feeder that shows balance and movement?”

Approximately 100 students and their families from grades K-2 participated. Students and their families had a lot of fun building and problem solving together. Eight different challenges such as designing a bird feeder mobile, creating towers from spaghetti and marshmallows, and building boats from aluminum foil demonstrated the laws of buoyancy, stability, and balance.

University of Rhode Island Biology Education Professor Bryan Dewsbury, his wife Erica, and his student Mikaela Gonzaga helped plan the evening and URI paid for the supplies.


Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%