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STEM Learning and the 21st Century Student

STEM Learning and the 21st Century Student

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has been a focus of education for years. As studies continue to show, STEM jobs will grow more quickly in the future than other sectors creating a shortage of qualified workers in STEM fields. In addition to nurturing valuable skills, STEM learning also promotes critical thinking, research and the excitement of discovery that instills a life-long appetite for learning. As educators, how do we encourage students to pursue passions in these fields? Many organizations are revitalizing education with innovative STEM-focused learning methods and activities that resonate with today’s youth. Capistrano Connections Academy students had the opportunity last week to engage with one such organization when they went on a field trip to Legoland’s Energy Lab in Carlsbad, Calif.

During the field trip, more than 40 students learned about renewable resources and different types of energy by building Lego cars and powering them with both mechanical and solar energy. The students then collected the energy in a capacitor, transferred the power to the motor to make the car run, and compared which energy source produced the most power. Students from kindergarten through junior high school participated in the field trip and helped each other understand the complexities of the project by having fun, playing and experimenting with the Lego cars.

It was great to see the students so engaged and jumping at the opportunity to explore their world and understand how the simple things around them work and interact. The students were truly interested in the project and what they were learning, and that is one of the most rewarding experiences for an educator.


Just as our students are excited to engage in STEM activities, our teachers are also eager to share their knowledge, and a few will have a chance to do so at the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering on Saturday, March 22. The festival features interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities and dynamic speakers to engage kids and families in science and engineering. Capistrano Connections Academy will have a booth that will feature a live demonstration on how to make slime. We’ll showcase the different proportions of household ingredients and the interactions they have with one another to create the perfect consistency of slime—one of our favorite science experiments!  

Stop by our booth at the festival if you’re interested in learning more about our school’s unique course offerings, the online learning environment, personalized learning opportunities, college preparation, and of course, slime!


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