ENGAGE THEM EARLY – Brighton STEM Projects for Young Students
Students at Brighton School begin working on STEM projects in preschool. By getting students engaged early, students experience the joy of technology and engineering while their minds are wide open. Check out the videos below that show very young Brighton students doing some amazing things!
Engage them Early – Kindergarten Flower Bug Garden
Kindergartners at Brighton School created a Flower and Bug Garden inspired by the Robot Garden System built at MIT The Kindergarten students attached flowers with embedded LED lights and speakers to Arduino micro-controllers and then attached sensors to an underground “floor” beneath the flowers. They then released tiny electronic Hex bugs to roam the floor, and whenever the hex bugs came near a sensor, the lights above would flash and a harmonic tone recorded by the Kindergartners played. The Kindergartners created the flowers; wired the flowers, speakers and sensors; wrote the Scratch code used to control the Arduinos and decorated the garden.
Engage Them Early – The Grinch Electronic Storybook
Brighton 2nd grade students combined simple electronics and computer programming to create a STEM storybook in which the Grinch returns to Whoville. As he travels down the mountain, the town comes back to life. The students wired Arduino microcontrollers to sensors that detected the approach of the Grinch’s sleigh, and programmed the Arduinos to turn on lights, spinning trees and a chocolate fountain when the Grinch passed by.
Engage Them Early – The 2nd Grade Arduino Earthquake Detector Project The 2nd Grade Earthquake Detector uses an Arduino Micro-controller connected to a pendulum sensor providing input; and a speaker, windmill and warning lights as outputs. Working in table teams, the 2nd graders connected the devices to the Arduino and wrote simple programming commands for the four stages of the earthquake alert – 1) All quiet, 2) Earthquake!, 3) Waiting, and 4) All Clear. The students programmed the Arduino to listen to the sensor and turn on and off the lights, tape recorder and windmill as needed during the different stages of the alert.
Behind the Scenes with the Kindergarten Flower and Bug Garden Watch how Brighton’s amazing Kindergarten Flower and Bug Garden was constructed. Students began by learning about Arduino micro-controllers. They used one side of the Arduinos for wiring sensors and they other to connect LED lights and speakers. The learned to code the Arduinos with the Scratch programming language.
Brighton Interactive Projects
Preschool & Pre-K Performance
At our annual preschool and Pre-K spring performance students sing, dance and perform for their parents in one of their first experiences presenting in front of a live audience – something at which Brighton students become quite proficient over time.
When 2nd grade students finished their unit of basic chemistry, they used their science notebooking skills to perform a series of investigations to become official Brighton CSI agents. The 2nd graders took their roles as CSI agents very seriously and their graduation ceremony was quite special.
Brighton has a commitment to service learning and community giving. For example, students raised over $2000 to buy ingredients to create packaged meals for needy families. Students joined with Children of the Nations to assemble the ingredients into 8800 packaged meals to be shipped to Africa.
Art of the Masters
Each year, students in preschool through eighth grade contribute artwork they created throughout the year. Our art program includes Art of the Masters, where students learn to paint, draw or sculpt in the style of particular master artists. In their Spanish classes, they learn to work in the styles of Hispanic artists.
Middle school math students used mathematical principles to design and build full-sized cardboard canoes. Students combined knowledge of surface area, volume and displacement to create blueprints which they used as the basis for ordering cardboard and waterproof paint. When the canoes were finished, students used them on Lake Washington.