This holiday season, the 5th grade class at David Ellis Academy West in Redford took their Christmas card decorating to the next level by not only coming up with creative and innovative designs, but by building their own closed circuits to make their cards light-up.
Students created paper circuits for their cards, which is a low-voltage electronic circuit that is created on paper or cardboard using conductive copper tape, LEDs and a power source such as a coin-cell battery. This activity taught the students the basics of electricity and how circuits function. Using science and math, they had to troubleshoot, investigate, practice patience, focus on the task, and use complex thinking. This fun and festive day gave students the chance to be creative with art and learn about science!
This activity was part of David Ellis' STEM program. The STEM program, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, emphasizes hands-on activities within a regular curriculum that aid in teaching students about core subjects. Previous STEM activities at David Ellis included teaching Kindergarteners about the color wheel and the different needs and parts of plants. On Halloween this year, 3rd graders built their own pumpkin catapults and engineered different candy towers and structures as part of the program.
Jessica James is the District STEM Coordinator for David Ellis Academies. James taught for 15 years before transitioning to the STEM Coordinator in 2019, teaching grades from 1st to 10th grade. This new position has allowed James to create a risk-taking culture that encourages teachers and students to explore new ideas and possibilities through the STEM program.
"I wholeheartedly believe integrated STEM education is vital to our students" said James. "It is student-centered, requires higher level thinking skills, problem solving, and improves retention. It builds resilience, teamwork, and encourages knowledge application along with adaptation."
David Ellis Academy West is a tuition-free public-school academy located in Redford, Michigan and is home to over 750 students ranging from preschool to eighth grade. Students are offered a wide range of sports, clubs, and after-school activities like basketball, cheerleading, yoga, theatre, science fair, robotics, and garden club. Parents can take advantage of the before and after school latch key services, all-day Montessori based kindergarten, and special education resources.
David Ellis focuses on preparing students to be the leaders of tomorrow and providing students with a safe and supportive environment. To maximize students' academic achievement and reduce the risk of students dropping out, David Ellis provides an innovative educational environment that meets the educational, social, emotional, physical, psychological, and individual needs of each student.
To learn more about David Ellis Academy West, visit their website at: