Our goal is to integrate technology into the curriculum through close collaboration between the classroom teachers and the technology staff. Students gain general technological awareness, expertise with painting, drawing and graphics tools, word processing, use of the Internet for research, keyboarding, multimedia production, electronic presentation, desktop publishing, and use of databases and spreadsheets.These curriculum strands are recommended in the National Educational Technology Standards for Students by the International Society for Technology in Education.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
WES has instructional specialists in science, math, and technology. Each specialist ensures that all students develop a strong foundation in STEM skills. To bolster the technology and engineering program, WES has incorporated engineering and design concepts into the curriculum across the grade levels. The core concepts are drawn from the Engineering is Elementary® (EiE) curriculum. Examples of STEM projects include:
- The Grade 1 class constructs toothpick and marshmallow structures. The initial building design is open-ended but limited to 12 toothpicks and 8 marshmallows. Students then redesign the creation to hold an index card and later test the structure by adding weight to the card.
- Grade 2 students do the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) unit about bridges. In teams, students build and test a beam and pier bridge. To support this unit, the WES librarian reads Javier Builds a Bridge from the EiE unit, Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince and other books about bridges to Grade 2 during library class.
- Grade 3 builds windmills. After an initial test, students revisited their designs to think and make recommendations about how they might make the windmills work better during follow-up testing.
WES is a member of MSET, the Maryland Society for Educational Technology, participates in AIMS technology retreats, road shows and tech gathers, and LISTEN, International Society for Technology in Education. WES also participates in the annual MESA Fair, which includes a multimedia competition for students in Grades 4 - 8 with two entries in each grade division. We also enter student work into the Montgomery County Media Festival each year.