Making learning fun

December 20, 2018 GMT

Area Middle School students participated in the Educational Service Unit winter science camp this week focused on STEM activities.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) serves as a way to get students interested in learning, according to Annette Weise with ESU5 professional development.

“We hope to get kids to think further about science and get excited,” she said. “We want them to do activities, explore and think deeper.”

Beatrice, Southern, Freeman and Deshler schools participated in Tuesday’s camp. Tri County, Thayer Central, Meridean, Bruning-Davenport, Diller-Odell, Fairbury and St. Paul’s Parochial of Plymouth had a session later in the week.


Patrick Brommer, ESU5 Science teacher, supervised the break-out box activity.

“They are using some cypher codes and code breaking skills to get the locks open. They are going to get really frustrated with this and so they are building resilience, but they are going to have to use logic and problem solving to be successful,” said Brommer.

Nic Ziegler, ESU5 technology integration specialist, supervised an activity where students made paper airplanes, with an extra catch.

“Students needed to create an electrical circuit for a light that would stay on during flight,” he said. “The design challenge is for the paper airplane that would fly the farthest,”

Weise discussed another challenge where the students made towers designed to be structurally sound.

“The tallest tower that would hold the weight of the tennis ball is also a design challenge,” she said. It’s made of just straws. They have to do a little more problem solving... Every STEM activity involves trial and error. My favorite part of the day is having students here at the ESU. We are all educators, but not all of us get to work with youth in our daily jobs. It’s very exciting.”

The event is the latest example of students implementing STEM studies through activities aimed to be fun and engage students.