Amana Academy Celebrates Georgia STEM Day, National Charter Schools Week
Amana Academy celebrated Georgia STEM Day and capped off National Charter Schools Week by holding its fourth annual Squawk & Walk Community Celebration and Fundraiser on Saturday, May 6. This year, the school expanded the event to include a School Maker Faire. A Maker Faire showcases invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Students exhibited a variety of activities at the Maker Faire, including a bicycle generator, hydroponic gardening, a robotics demonstration, and jewelry making. The most popular booth by far was the giant vat of oobleck, a non-newtonian fluid made of cornstarch (400 lbs in this case) and water, that kids could run on top of, but if they stood still, they sank (pictured above right)
As the only STEM-Certified K-8 School, Amana chose to host a School Maker Faire in honor of Georgia STEM Day because it was a perfect combination of part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new. School Maker Faire exhibitors, or “makers,” are primarily students—either as individuals, clubs, classes or groups. And Maker Faire exhibits can be from any discipline — from science to art to gardening to engineering to craft. Georgia STEM Day is a day for schools, teachers, students, and companies to engage in activities that involve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to raise awareness of the importance of STEM throughout Georgia.
In addition to student “maker” booths, the Atlanta Audubon Society and members of Geekspace Gwinnett also took part in the Maker Faire. Those attending the faire also got a chance to view and go inside the STE(A)M Truck.
Amana’s mission is to prepare students to become changemakers. The school’s challenging academic program is rooted in the Harvard-based EL Education model, which empowers kids to reach beyond what they think they are capable of in order to make the world a better place. Students become leaders of their own learning, and collaborate on semester-long learning expeditions that seek to find solutions to real world problems locally and globally. The EL Education model requires advanced teacher training, which the proceeds from the walk help to pay for.
As Georgia’s first and only STEM-Certified K-8 School, Amana students have the unique opportunity to put what they are learning in the classroom to the test. Challenging academics, meaningful community partnerships and a focus on stewardship are what make Amana’s program special.