A Playground for Learning

Virtual Learners in Miller Place Participate in STEM Quick Build Challenge

MILLER PLACE, NEW YORK (MARCH 2021)—Implementing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) concepts has been a hallmark of the Miller Place School District’s educational model for several years. While balancing different educational models this year, Miller Place’s staff have capitalized on the opportunity to ensure hands-on learning continued.

Ms. Watkins, second grade teacher at Andrew Muller Primary School (AMPS), engaged her virtual class in a STEM quick build challenge, via Google Classroom, to bring each students’ individual dream playground to life. The class was prompted to brainstorm and draw an initial design before the building stage, and then asked to gather materials available right in their home. Students were encouraged to apply their curiosity in a new way while creating simple machines—inclined planes, levers, and wheel and axles—that they previously learned about as part of their science curriculum. The challenge focused on building foundational STEM skills—communication, problem solving and creativity—that are essential in the engineering process.