STREAM Newsletter Winter 2023-2024

Our Vision:

The STREAM committee is dedicated to developing a program that is inquiry based and that will develop students into confident, self-directed learners. In a safe and supportive environment our students will be engaged in group problem solving with applicable solutions that develops independent thinking while fostering collaboration. Students will have opportunities to gain real world experience through community partnerships and internships. Our goal is to combine science, technology, research, engineering, art, and mathematics to prepare our students to be contributing members of the 21st century work force.

So, you’re going to be teaching STREAM? That’s great! You may be a first-time STREAM teacher, an experienced STEM teacher eager to add new engagement and differentiation to your pedagogy, or a parent or guardian supporting your curious learner. In either case, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into learning, planning, and preparing. I’m guessing that one question you have is: How can I plan and organize to make my STREAM lessons successful? Look below for some inspiration!

What’s STREAMing at...


Chase School

After reading The Snowflake- A Water Cycle Story by Neil Waldman and learning how snowflakes form, Mrs. Furman made their own snowflakes using borax crystals. They were able to start the process early in the morning and observe the crystals form throughout the day.
The Dash robots at Chase were magically transformed into leprechauns in search of gold! With the plow attached to the front of the "leprechauns", students had to drive them around and gather the gold and add it to their "pot". Younger students were able to gather any color block, older students needed to gather yellow or orange blocks or green "shamrocks".
Miss Murphy's class came into to the library to find a huge mess left behind by a leprechaun. They decided to build traps to try to capture him. Using boxes, tape, glue, yarn and assorted other materials, they set to work. Despite their best efforts. that impish little leprechaun has eluded capture!

Rutherford School

Mrs. Snow’s Third Grade students “traveled through Space” learning about the Solar System and beyond! The BEST PART was when we learned that Mrs. Holland, our very own KL Rutherford teacher’s aide, had a very personal connection with ASTRONAUT JOHN GLENN! In 1962, John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth three times during the Mercury-Atlas 6 Mission, aboard the spacecraft he named Friendship 7! Mrs. Holland’s father, Al Whelan, worked for Maxson Electronics, where he met his beautiful wife and how he became good friends with the astronaut! Maxson Electronics made target missiles, sonar and radar equipment for NASA and the United States Navy. Al helped make and install the dials and switches used inside the capsule, Friendship 7! After John Glenn successfully returned to Earth from Space, he had tokens of appreciation made for all the people who helped him get to Space and back safely! Mrs. Holland’s father was one of those people! John Glenn gave Mrs. Holland’s father and mother gifts! The astronaut presented her father with a tie clip and her mother with a charm bracelet. Both had a perfect miniature replica of the Friendship 7 capsule displayed on them! Mrs. Holland also told of her father’s adventures working with the United States Navy! Al Whelan had to use crutches because he was crippled by Polio when he was three years old. Mrs. Holland explained that “just because his legs did not work, did not mean that his brain did not work!” Al often worked on the battleship, USS Iowa, fixing radar equipment. The first time he went aboard the USS Iowa, the Admiral in charge did not want him working there, because of his legs! Al told the Admiral, “I can do anything you can!” So, the Admiral told a pilot to take him up in a plane and “spin him!” The Admiral wanted to make Al vomit to show that he was a weak man! But Al Whelan was not going to let that happen! No matter how many times they spun the plane, Al refused to throw up!!! That night, the Admiral took him out for dinner and drinks! After that, the Admiral had great respect for Al! Al Whelan was also a hero! One day while working on the USS Iowa, the Naval doctor sent for Al. The doctor was treating a man that had been exposed to Polio and was showing symptoms. They called Al because the doctor knew he had had Polio and would have the antibodies to help the sick man fight off the disease! The Naval doctor asked Al if could use his blood for a transfusion. Al said, “Yes!” The doctor performed an arm-to-arm transfusion with Al’s blood going directly into the sick man! Because of the antibodies given to him through Al’s blood, the man recovered without getting Polio!!! Al Whelan gave his blood to save the man! Another adventure happened when Al was working on fixing the radar system on the USS Iowa when it was docked in Virginia. Suddenly, the ship started heading out to sea! President Kennedy had signaled to ship out to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961. Al was a civilian and wasn’t supposed to be going to war, but there was no time to get Al off the battleship! Al told the Admiral that he had to get off the ship because his wife expected him home for dinner! Instead, the Admiral put Al on the bridge and the Navy was taking him with them to Cuba! Fortunately, they ended up making a stop at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Al was able to get off the ship before they continued onto Cuba! Mrs. Holland has many more AMAZING stories about her father, Al Whelan. Just ask her about her dad going fishing with Franklin Delanor Roosevelt! We are so GRATEFUL that Mrs. Holland has shared this part of her FAMILY’S INCREDIBLY RICH HISTORY with us!
Lisa Jamin, KL Rutherford’s Technology Expert, taught Mrs. Snow’s Third Grade students how to use Makers Empire, a program that introduces students to “Design Thinking!” The students collaborated while using technology, engineering and science to design the sun, planets and rockets on their iPads. Ms. Jamin then took those designs and used the 3D Printer to manufacture models of our Solar System for the students! Ms. Jamin then used her Green Screen Technology to make the children look like they were really in OUTER SPACE! She took pictures of the students in front of the Green Screen and used special effects to make them look like they had traveled to the Sun, Saturn, or even a Black Hole! The students then took those pictures and made “Wish You Were Here” postcards to send to their parents! Ms. Jamin truly makes technology “OUT OF THIS WORLD” for our students!!!
Mrs. Snow’s Third Grade had a DELICIOUS, good time learning about the phases of the moon! The students learned about how the moon changes over a month by creating each of the eight phases using cookies. This edible astronomy made learning about the Moon SWEET! Then, the students studied the moon’s surface with its craters and rays. Using flour, sprinkles, and cocoa, the students recreated the Moon’s surface. Next, they took “asteroids” or space rocks, and using different heights and angles, threw them at the “Moon” to study the pattern created by the impact. Lastly, they recorded the results to show why the moon has craters and rays! Afterwards, the students used the NASA Solar System Exploration Website to observe the Moon in real time using the Daily Moon Guide, “NASA’s interactive map for observing the Moon”. After exploring the Moon close-up, the students drew what the moon would look like on their BIRTHDAY this year!
Mrs. Snow’s students had a BLAST launching straw rockets! After constructing their paper rockets, each student had three tries to blow into a straw, launch their rocket across the room and then measure the distance it traveled. A classmate would record the rocket’s distance on the data log. Congratulations to Evan, Veronica, and Nova and who had the longest distance of over 20 feet! To cap off our Space unit, the students wrote and presented individual reports on our solar system and beyond! Fun and learning were had by all!
During their "Matter and Energy in Plants" science unit, Mrs. Bowles and Ms. Sheppard's fifth grade students learned that soil is not necessary for plant growth. They placed bean seeds and a wet paper towel in a Zip-loc bag. Then, they taped the bags to their classroom window. Check out those roots!!!

Cooke School

Rockets and Robots and Asteroids, oh my! George L. Cooke Elementary School students and their families briefly left Planet Earth on Tuesday, March 19 for a trip to the stars during the school's annual STEAM night. This year's space theme had students getting excited to learn about math, science and technology with activities such as a moon walk through the "cosmos", experiments such as fizzy moon rocks and galaxy slime, and constellation art projects. Activities like these help spark a curiosity about the sciences, and having families along for the ride helps reinforce these concepts at home. Thanks to everyone who made STEAM night possible!

RJK Middle School!

Students in Ms. Garcia's 8th grade class collaborating to build our first Robot!

Curious Engineers in Ms. Garcia's 8th grade classroom collaborated to build a Smart Robot Arm that was then used to send messages to administration and staff!

St. John's Street Science Store

Who: K-12 Teachers

What: A full room of STREAM and science materials!

Where: St. John’s Street Community School (22 St. John Street, Monticello) - Room 234 (2nd floor). Parking is behind the school.

When: Any school day before 9:00am and after 3:00pm until 6:00pm (security leaves at 6:00pm)

Why: To support and enhance your STREAM and science lessons!


1. Use our inventory to see what is available:

2. Email Jen Gorr at the DATE and TIME you plan to stop by, so she knows you will be in the building.

3. Bring your school ID.

4. When you arrive, ask the security guard to radio maintenance to unlock room 234 for you as it is locked!

5. Please note what you took AND how many items you took on the, so we can track what may need to be replaced.

6. Use the materials as long as you need them! If they are items that can be reused, please return them!

STREAM Lesson Support: If you need support and/or advice on leading a STREAM or science lesson, let your science liaison or DIL know. As a committee, we are happy to welcome you to our meetings, or meet with you individually, to discuss any ideas!

Your STREAM Team: Kayleigh Bowles, Kelly Keesler, Eric Shewmaker, Emily Takacs, Kiowa Garcia, Patti Anderson, Joana Dutcher

Do you have something you would like us to highlight on the Spring newsletter?

The Engineering Design Process is the heart of STREAM