We were thrilled when the PTL at St Andrews School in Park Ridge reached out about bringing our STEM Game Races  Space Escape event to their school. The only catch - the school serves students from three-year-old preschool all the way through eighth grade. How do you create an event that is fun, engaging and just the right level of challenge for everyone? Challenge accepted!




We quickly learned that while our traditional Space Escape event would be a great fit for the elementary and middle school kiddos, we were going to need to get creative when thinking about the early childhood group. With nearly 50 students participating at once, we needed stations that were both engaging and developmentally appropriate. We knew that the two signature elements of our events - creative puzzles that require critical thinking skills and our STEM Challenge Rocket Launch, would definitely need to be included. We then layered in ideas from our recent art collaborations and designed three additional activities to engage the preschoolers in space-themed STEAM activities.


  



One thing that’s guaranteed as part of every STEM Game Races event? We use our decade of teaching experience to ensure each puzzle is the perfect level of challenge for each student. Check out one of the custom puzzles created just for the early childhood group!



And of course, it’s not a STEM Game Race without the rocket launch. Each of the preschool groups was paired up with a middle school buddy, who was able to help each group construct their rocket, test out different systems and orchestrate the perfect launch. It’s always amazing to see just how excited kids get when they hit the target - and the STEM stars at St Andrews were no exception!

Our STEM Takeover at St Andrews didn’t end with preschool - we hosted five groups throughout the school day so each grade level was able to join us for their own Space Escape experience. Divided into teams of 3-5, students raced each other to solve all of the puzzles in our signature event and be the first team to launch their rocket back to Planet Zorf. It was incredible to see teams sharing their ideas, listening to others and refusing to give up when things got challenging. We also saw some of the most creative rocket launchers - we are pretty sure NASA will be giving them a call any day now!

 

 



As teams finished, they were able to write messages in our secret alien code or create an alien or spaceship in our “Build It” station. Not only were students engaged, challenged and putting the crucial 4Cs in action - they all had a blast!


Thanks for having us, St Andrews! We loved our STEM Takeover and getting to work with your STEM stars. We’re already counting down until we get to blast off again!



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