Date of Award
Dr. Karen L. Koster
Dr. Jeff Wesner
STEM education, science education, interactive learning, elementary science, after school programs
STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education is of increasing importance in our society. Advancements in technology, a growing need for new ideas in engineering and mathematics, and greater emphasis on science have all contributed to the renewed focus on STEM education. It is crucial that children develop an appreciation and enthusiasm for STEM at a young age. Fostering curiosity in students is a valuable investment in their personal future and the future of our world. The purpose of this thesis project was to design and implement an interactive STEM program for the after-school program, Beyond School Adventures in Vermillion, SD. This program consists of six fun, hands-on, and unique STEM activities for kindergarten and first-grade students; specifically, modules on solar heat, growing a plant, habitats, the science of sounds, engineering a communication device, and exploring plants. Each module involves a short background presentation of the topic being explored, an opportunity for each student to do the activity, and a take-home component for extended learning and sharing of their new understanding. This project involved the development, funding, testing, revision of the modules, and presentation to the students. In future years, this project will be sustained as an outreach program of the USD Biology Club.
Roufs, Ellen, "YOUNG SCIENTISTS: Development of an Interactive STEM Program for Students at Vermillion “Beyond School Adventures" (2018). Honors Thesis. 3.