More than 155 Delran students and their families participated in our Family STEM Night on December 11, 2023. The evening’s theme was “The Magic of Snow!” and was the first event of our Delran By Nature series this year. “Delran’s consistency in involving younger children in STEM programs throughout the district continues to stands out,” resident Darren Shields remarked about the event.
Participants started their evening with a math activity using colored pencils and templates for drawing snowflakes. They were encouraged to notice the size, symmetry, and hexagonal shape of snowflakes as they drew their snowy designs.
After we settled in, families listened to a read-aloud of the book Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian, which previously won the 1999 Caldecott Medal for excellent illustrations. The book is based on the true story of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, whose interest in the snow inspired his family to save up and buy him a camera and microscope to explore his passions. Bentley grew up to be a photography pioneer and is well-known for his photographs of snowflakes and snow crystals. Every family received a copy of the book to keep. The book is also available at our school libraries at both DIS and Millbridge.
After the read-aloud, participants used templates to cut out their own paper snowflakes with accurate symmetry. We discussed shapes and learned that all snowflakes have 6 sides and are hexagons. “My two sons had such a fun night combining on science experiments together,” participant Michael Webb responded.
Finally, we performed an experiment with freezing points using water and ice. We experimented with freezing points of the water until we could successfully pick up an ice cube using just our strings. “We had so much fun doing these experiments! I love that these evenings give a chance for families to learn together, and we are excited to continue exploring at home!” noted Sabrina Simon about the activities.
Mrs. Hutchinson, STEM Co-Coordinator, provided several additional snowy STEM activities for families to continue the learning at home this winter as part of the Cosi “Snow” kits, funded from both Lockheed Martin and the district. Some examples included creating snow crystal charts, examining animal tracks, insulation, and adaptations humans and animals make to walk on snow. Cosi offers instructional videos and additional activities on their website.
“It was perfect time length and nice to be able sit as a family,” attendee Alexandra Nelson concluded. It was a fun, educational evening learning about winter weather and nature. Thank you to all of our participants, STEMbassadors, and STEM staff members for attending! We hope to see you at our future Delran By Nature STEM events.