May the 4th Be With You!  

As you know, I LOVE everything Star Wars.  In honor of May the 4th, Mrs. Lawson and I have put together a bunch of STEM activities centered around Star Wars.  Open May the 4th Be With You.pdf and try out at least a few of the activities.  We would love to see all of your creations!  Take a picture or video your creation in action.   Once done, post the picture or video to the link to our Flipgrid.  

UPDATE April 14, 2020:  We hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing Spring Break.  For some Colgan students, they did not have time to relax.  They spent their spring break engineering face masks and extenders  for our local hospital.  These students are all former Marshall students and the one that spearheaded the effort is Mrs. Lawson's son, Max! See their amazing story below.

From Mrs. Lawson:

Max LawsonEthan CarrSolomonAiden
              Max Ethan Solomon    Aidan

On paper, my son Max Lawson does not look like an engineer. If he had to pick a favorite subject in school, he would select history and language arts every time over math and science. He doesn’t take the most advanced math classes available for his grade level, and his scores hover in the mid-B range (lack of effort being more than a little to blame).

But Max has what matters in the recipe for successful engineers. He likes to think outside the box. His mind has the uncanny ability to approach solutions to problems from many different angles. He loves teamwork – brainstorming and collaborating with others to make things better. And he is not afraid to fail.

Do any of these traits sound familiar? Because Mrs. Brenner and I talk to you about them every single time you enter the STEM lab. School is important. Good grades are important. But equally important – if not more so – is possessing one or more of these traits.

Think of the scientists and doctors who spend their entire careers looking for the cure to cancer. They go to work knowing that, every single day, they may fail. But they keep going knowing that every failure brings them or the scientists and doctors who follow them one step closer to succeeding. And when that success happens, what a sweet day it will be for us all.

Last Wednesday, the phone at the Lawson household rang. It was a family friend who is a local physician. That friend knew that Max is a 3D-printing enthusiast, and he was calling to ask for Max’s help. Like medical facilities worldwide, our area hospitals and doctors’ offices are facing an extreme shortage of personal protective equipment for use against COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus. He asked if Max could print face shields for use by medical personnel at a hospital right here in Prince William County.

Max, of course, was all in. He quickly reached out to his friend and business partner, Ethan Carr. (Some of you may remember how Max and Ethan in the past have sold their 3D fidget spinners at Marshall’s Holiday Shopping Night.) Ethan also was only too happy to help, and he, in turn, enlisted the assistance of friends Solomon Ralston and Aidan Patterson so they could maximize output for the hospital.

Face Shields      Delivery       Wearing shield
First Set of Shields           Max delivering to Sentara           Face Shields in use

To date, these four young men have delivered 41 face shields to that hospital, as well as extenders that can be used with surgical masks to alleviate ear pain from long-term wear. They have been working long hours to maximize output and help those so desperately in need. And during all these long hours at work, something funny is happening, at the Lawson house, at least. I have not heard one single complaint about how hard or time-consuming the work is. (This is in stark contrast to the amount of complaining that goes on when Max has to study his regular schoolwork!)

The work has not been easy. All the boys have suffered printing errors and printer problems. When the request for help came in, Max’s 3D printer actually was broken, and he spent an entire day repairing it with the help of YouTube videos and parts harvested from an older 3D printer he has. But they have all found that there is something satisfying and rewarding in helping something bigger than oneself.

Max, Ethan, Solomon, and Aidan are not grown-ups with fancy degrees from the best engineering schools. They are high school sophomores (and, in Aidan’s case, a freshman) at Colgan, who, five short years ago, were students at Marshall just like you. Remind yourself of that the next time you think that something you do cannot change the world.

Always, always, always study, do your homework, and work hard in school. But if you ever find yourself struggling with a subject or a class (and you will), don’t give up. We all have gifts to give this world.  

Read how Local high schoolers help PWC medical workers.pdf

UPDATE March 20, 2020
:  I have added fun STEM at Home activities and links for K-2 and 3-5 in "Files and Documents" and "Links".  I will continue to update and add folders as more guidance on expectations is made available from the county.  I sincerely hope that you are all well.  Please feel free to reach out to me through email as needed.  Take care and stay safe.

Our Vision

We will inspire all students to learn and grow through intentional integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and by building their 21st century skills in collaboration, critical and creative thinking, and communication to solve real-world challenges.
 

Mission

  • Engage in authentic learning experiences by using real world problems.
  • Build complex thinkers, self-directed learners, effective communicators, informed and responsible citizens, collaborative workers, and quality producers.
  • Apply and integrate our SOL objectives with the STEM disciplines.
  • Promote a growth mindset by cultivating grit, resiliency, and perseverance.

What is STEM?


STEM integrates concepts from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to solve problems that are meaningful and relevant to students. 

Using the Engineering Design Process, students work to develop the 21st Century Skills of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.