Whelan School Finishes Second Place in STEM Week Challenge Competition

During the last week of October joined schools across the state to celebrated STEM Week–a celebration of the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum.

STEM Week culminated in the STEM Week Challenge in partnership with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and TD Garden.

At the STEM Week Challenge’s showcase at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, 5th grade students from the Whelan School received second place in the Zero Energy Waste category.

The fifth-graders constructed a solar powered tree house to show how homes can not only be better for the environment but more cost effective.

At a recent Revere School Committee meeting, the fifth-graders showed off their projects to school committee members.

The students explained how solar power can save residents money by harnessing the sun’s solar power rather than relying on electricity. It is also better for the environment because solar power does not rely on the burning of fossil fuels.

While the student’s treehouse was small, students argued that using solar power on a larger scale in traditional homes can help low-income families save money on energy. At the STEM Week showcase and subsequent School Committee meeting the fifth-graders gave a demonstration of how solar power works.

One of the students said that solar power is not only more affordable in the long run but it also helps the environment and combat climate change.

The students used all recyclable materials to make their renewable energy treehouse.

At the showcase the 5th graders received authentic feedback from professionals in the STEM field.

“The STEM Week Challenge is an opportunity for teachers across the Commonwealth to help students apply learning to real-world problems,” said PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram. “The challenge is designed to actively engage students as they solve real-world problems that organizations like TD Garden and MassDEP currently face.”

The Whelan School also announced that the school has been awarded  a “STEM Career Pathway Capacity Grant” that will allow the Whelan to expand itsProject Lead the Way program. The Whelan will use these grant funds to strengthen its PLTW Launch program.  Funds from the grant will allow the school the opportunity to purchase additional materials for students for hands-on project based STEM lessons.

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