We had 15 online attendees for our March 31 meeting, and could see and hear each other with our “Zoom” apps. Our Club leaders discussed our current “social distancing” responses to the virus, answered questions from members, and encouraged bringing past members into our virtual meetings.
In our evening program, Hunter Thacker (Chase Thacker’s brother) discussed the preschool programs at the “Leap and Bound Academy” in Torrance. He began with a slide show, and then demonstrated how to teach scientific principles using simple everyday objects that children are familiar with. STEM is “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics”, into which he integrates “Art” to improve these meaningful experiences (“STEAM”). Their hands-on experiments promote critical thinking & problem-solving skills about how the world around us works.
He showed how they can connect acid fruits (lemons) with electrodes to make a battery in a circuit that can light an LED bulb. They can learn how lenses can make a microscope to explore microorganisms. He discussed examples of catapults and pulleys and electromagnetics (Physics). Art can relate to geometry and spatial relationships, and help to understand Math concepts such as how far, near or often, and less than, greater than, or equal to. With a piano keyboard on the screen, they can play along by pressing the bottom keys on their keyboards (“z” through “/”). He also showed a Microsoft program (Circuit Playground Express) to introduce students to electronics and programming, by moving components around on the screen to make connections.