STEM focuses on Trash to Treasure project

Cooper Beranek, Academics Editor

Duncan Middle School’s STEM program has been working on a new project as a way to develop renewable energy sources.

The STEM sixth-grade students participated in the Trash to Treasure project, which looks at ways to transform everyday trash into a model of renewable energy sources, such as hydra, tidal, solar, geothermal and wind energy. The project also focuses on what’s renewable and discovering what replenishable energy sources exist that can be used instead of fossil fuels, which take many lifetimes to be made.

STEM students work in a group during class. (Cooper Beranek)

STEM teacher Renea Lawler said part of this activity is to help students with communication skills with each other and their teammates. For example, it might be easy for someone to understand an idea or something they have but it might be hard for them to explain it to others.

How its done, after they all sketch an idea of what they want their renewable energy source in question decided by Lawyer to look like after that they use a table to decide what elements of each sketch they should use based on its realistic-ness compared to the real one, what materials are used and how long they think it will take to make it. After that, they draw up their final sketch using the best of all the designs, and then Lawler will look at their sketch and see if she thinks it’s doable she will either check them off and they can start to build it or, say it needs work and will tell them what is wrong with it and they will try again.

Finally, after it’s approved they build it and then advertise it, they are trying to sell it to the consumer (Lawler). Like a commercial, they have to say what their product is, how it works why they should buy it, it’s pros and cons then the consumer will be more obligated to buy their product if they if the consumer “buys their product” they are finished with the project and they pass.