Lafayette Christian School has completed a project to create an Engineer’s Garden combining learning and play at the school.
In the Engineers’ Garden, students creatively apply math and science concepts learned through the classroom curriculum. They manipulate specialized life-sized, custom-built equipment to reinforce concepts presented online or in textbooks and use technology to develop engineering concepts. Through cooperation, student teams develop leadership as they discover scientific principles at work.
Kindergarten students experience the mechanical advantage of simple machines and play creatively with construction equipment, trains and building blocks. Elementary students have hands-on experiences with buoyancy, pulleys, block and tackle, inclined planes, wheel and axles, levers, gears, volume conversions and linear, square and cubic measurement.
Middle and high school students “discover” mathematical formulas that govern scientific activities. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) experiences with gears, solar power, electricity, weather equipment and simple machines are designed for Upper School students.
Data from student-designed experiments is collected, analyzed and summarized to formulate functions. Statistical analysis is performed by advanced students.
School officials said it is during the elementary and middle school years that many children are inspired to love science for life and possibly choose it as a major or career in the future.
A grant from the Callaway Foundation and the support of businesses and individuals provided funds for the Engineers’ Garden at Lafayette Christian School and makes unique STEM learning experiences available to LCS students and members of the community.