Exploring STEM with Ruff Ruffman!
KBTC Kids is bringing early STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning to second graders at Roosevelt Elementary as part of the RAMS Center after school program. And students are excited to be a part of the new Ruff Ruffman Camp experience!
Throughout the camp, KBTC staff help to encourage the kids’ creativity and curiosity by sparking their interest in STEM projects. This week focused on materials! Based on vocabulary words—like senses, results, properties, predict, investigate, water resistant—the kids were presented with two challenges: design something you could wear to keep you dry from the water and design something that can provide you shade on a hot day. They broke into two teams and each group used their science journals to predict how to keep someone shaded or keep someone dry.
Next, it was time to put their predictions into action! They split into groups again, but this time, they would be building a structure or designing a rain jacket for the Ruff Ruffman plushie. The kids were ecstatic and extremely motivated as they were instructed to protect Ruff!
The kids got to work using different materials to complete their challenge.
Some kids worked together as a team, others tried a more individual approach, and all the kids used trial and error methods until they were satisfied with their results. Each had to use engineering and problem solving skills to create a structure for their Ruff Ruffman animal.
In the end, each team tested their ingenuity. One by applying water to the structure with Ruff inside and the other by shining a light on their building (mimicking the sun) to see if it hit Ruff. For the most part, the kids succeeded!
The students were able to take part in developmentally appropriate STEM concepts and come away with their own Ruff Ruffman stuffed animal and a whole lot of confidence in their abilities to learn, research, observe, create, and build!
Most importantly, the program isn’t over! KBTC staff will continue to teach new concepts and words that allow the kids to record their ideas, trials, and steps to success. The program helps to teach these vital STEM concepts early on so kids can continue to build on this foundation as they grow. Incorporating Ruff Ruffman into their learning has brought a new level of fun into science!