Patagonia Elementary School has launched a Creative STEM Club for students in grades 2-6, who are participating in 20 hands-on multimedia lessons this spring semester. Another 20 lessons are planned for the club in the fall.

Content for club meetings draws from “The Universe Within,” a course that was developed as part of a partnership among the school, Mat Bevel Company and the University of Arizona School for Mathematical Sciences.

The lessons, which include titles such as “Spark Your Creative Genius,” “Create Cardboard Shapes,” “Measure 2D Shapes” and “Circle Round Your Head,” start with three-minute videos with key ideas, instructions, tips and demonstrations.

For example, lesson one, “Open Your Imagination,” begins with scenes of fantastical kinetic sculptures made from found or repurposed material. Then comes an introduction to Amaya, Daniel, Erika, Jorge and Kannon – peer mentors from Patagonia Elementary – who work with the animated character of Dr. Bruce Bayly, UA math professor, to explain the activity.

In this case, the assignment is to use their imagination to create a character, imagine a problem that the character will tackle, and think of three potential solutions.

Club members then work in their Daily Doodle student notebook to complete the lesson.

See some examples by searching for “Mat Bevel Company” on YouTube, then clicking on “The Universe Within” playlist below.

The program was made possible after Patagonia Elementary School was awarded an “A For Arizona” grant as part of the Expansion and Innovation Fund to help the state’s most vulnerable student populations and students in areas hit hardest by COVID-19.

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