Math for Recess? STEM in Action

Math for Recess? STEM in Action
Posted on 11/14/2017
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We’ve all heard that children learn through play. Play allows kids to understand and navigate new situations, provides cognitive and social benefits and is a great way to get out the wiggles. But what if playing during recess also reinforced math skills, such as measuring, number lines and geometry? 

Robyn Hill pictured with her students in the classroom.That’s the premise behind a $2,500 PK12 Innovative STEM Project Grant to Snake River Elementary School from the Idaho STEM Action Center. Fifth-grade teacher Robyn Hill applied for the grant to create math-based playground equipment as a way to reinforce math skills for kids who may not be getting that support outside the home.

In her application, Hill noted that as students come up with fun playground activities based on math principals, they also will be learning new math concepts and reinforcing what they already know. As they design and help build equipment based on math concepts, the kids “will forever teach lower grades the skills they aren’t practicing much at home,” Hill said. 

In addition to math, students involved in the project will get hands-on opportunities, experience giving back, learn engineering and design skills and get a taste for city planning concepts.

Students from Treasure Valley Leadership Academy, the district’s newest innovation high school that opened in fall 2017, will work with the children on creating and installing the playground activities.