West Fargo STEM Program Blog

Keep up on the latest News related to the West Fargo STEM program. As we learn together and grow together feel free to offer your insights and solutions to the challenges we face. We continue to need our community of stakeholders to support us in creating the conditions for growth in every student. Stay informed, stay involved and feel free to contact us with your questions about West Fargo STEM Education.

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Kirsten Baesler Visit's STEM Center

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)



On Wednesday May 8th The State Superintendent of Public Instruction visited the STEM Center. She was very impressed, and is supportive of the expansion of the program. The students were rock stars as always, answering questions and being living promotional data for the STEM program. Here is some of the news coverage:

The Physics of Wind Instruments

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Students Andrina Brogden and Miranda Wilcox sporting woodwind instruments

A woodwind instrument is one that is played by blowing into and through a reed. The reed then converts the air into a series of puffs. The vibrations open or close a slit located in between the reed and the mouthpiece, which causes vibrations in an air column. The vibration frequency is determined by changes in the pressure of the vibrating air. The frequency of the note is affected by the frequency of the resonator, which changes as holes in the instrument are opened or closed. Usually, the smaller the hole, the lower the radiation of high frequency components. Covering the holes with fingers alters the pitch. The ratio of the volume of air inside a closed hole divided by the volume of the air in length between adjacent holes must be the same in all parts of the bore.

Michelle Strand, a science teacher at West Fargo High, had her physics class learning about these things. Her students crafted makeshift woodwind instruments and tested out how well they worked. The experiment was a success, as the students were able to use their homemade instruments to play coherent sounds.

-This blog Post was written by Charlie Riley (Service Learning Student Extraordinaire)

STEM Students Take First at TEAMS

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Eight 7th grade students from West Fargo STEM won first place in the Middle School division of TEAMS. TEAMS (Tests of Engineering, Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science) is an Engineering competition where students compete collaboratively to problem solve real-world engineering challenges. This year, the focus was on engineering a secure cyberspace.

The 7th grade students, Caleigh Anderson, Tejas Bajwa, Kemal Hajric, Emily Martin, Simranpreet Kaur, Jesse Price, Raeef Rhaman, and Kyle Schmitz completed the test using their math, engineering, problem solving, and 21st century skills. The team, coached by 7th grade STEM Math teacher Holly Erickson, will move on to the second round of the state competition. Top ranking state winners will be invited to compete in Florida at the national Technology Student Association (TSA) conference in June.

Its Cool To Care and Its Cool to Learn

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

We have all sorts of exciting things happening and they happen because we truly believe in establishing what STEM Center Principal Michelle Weber describes as a "culture where it's cool to care." Please take the twelve minutes to watch her TEDx Fargo presentation and join us all in supporting and establishing a school culture that creates the optimum conditions for growth in every student.

Michelle Weber TEDx Fargo:

Big History, Big Changes

Posted on February 17, 2013 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (1)

At the High School level we are exploring innovative curriculums for employing the Engineering Design Process. Educators want to make learning meaningful, project based, engaging and integrated but the resources offered are generally less meaningful, aligned, and engaging than what we would like. In our research we find that there are others facing similar challenges around the country. One freshman and sophomore curriculum that provides a blending of Social Science and Science is Big History.

At this point in its progression there are over 80 schools piloting the Big History curriculum. Andy Cook, a coordinator for Big History is interested in West Fargo High School as a pilot site for the curriculum. Currently Bill Gates is funding this program with the intent to keep its impact on school budgets free in perpetuity. There are over 350 hours of content included in the curriculum with about 80 hours as the backbone of the curriculum West Fargo is studying its alignment to our state and common core standards. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think.


Short video:

Gates Notes Big History Page:





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