MI Students Use STEM to Help Kids in Need
Posted on 12/16/2016
Fourth grade students at Mason Intermediate are ‘jumping’ at the chance to use their STEM skills to help children a world away - while also helping the planet! Students in Sherry Michalak's fourth grade technology class constructed jump ropes out of recycled materials as a STEM activity that will also bring joy to children living in poverty in Central America.
A few years ago, Michalak and her son and took a mission trip to the town of La Limonada in Guatemala. Their job was to help a woman named Tita convert an old building into a school.
"Before this the town was run by gangs. Families were so poor and had no transportation, and no way to educate their children. It was a vicious cycle. Once Tita opened this school, she was able to not only provide the students with an education to help their future but she also provides students and their families with basic necessities such as food, clothing, toiletries, etc,” explained Michalak.
For the design process, Michalak asked the students, "How could we create a jump rope out of recycled materials?" Students individually imagined how they could create the toy, and then shared their ideas with the class. Next, the students examined a finished jump rope to assist with their plan. Finally, students broke into teams and collaborated to create their jump rope. The completed jump ropes will be sent to children who have very little, including toys.
Lemonade International work to facilitate community development programs in solidarity with the people of La Limonada in Guatemala City. Sponsor a La Limonada student.