ST 1.11

ST 1.11 - Students are supported in their STEM learning through adult-world connections and extended day opportunities.

Port Royal Sound Foundation STEAM Festival
Sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the first STEAM Festival provided hands-on, innovative and super-cool activities for families to enjoy. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), is an important initiative for educating and preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. The festival showcased demonstrations, simulations, experiments and hands-on activities by area businesses, organizations and schools that were using STEAM to succeed. BLMS participated, bringing VEX Robotics to the festival which provided a rich STEM experience for a predominantly younger audience. Participants learned basic maneuvers to drive VEX Robots and have them complete work tasks.



After School Clubs
Bluffton Middle School offers a variety of clubs that help develop and reinforce the 4 C’s. School sponsored clubs create a positive environment that fosters student interest, community service, and social networking. Clubs such as art, dance, and yearbook give students a means for creativity while robotics and chess foster critical thinking skills. Bluffton Middle School’s Student Council, National Junior Honor Society, and Fellowship of Christian Athlete focuses on community service and raising money for different charities. Our after-school clubs give students extended opportunities to learn through various community connections.


Heroes on Horseback
Many of our special education students participate in Heroes on Horseback, a local therapeutic riding program.  This community program provides students with equine-assisted therapy and allows them to gain experiences that are not easily accessible for them.  The students engage in hands-on learning, which includes equine care and maintenance in addition to riding. They also practice communication skills when interacting with volunteers, problem-solve by determining how to complete given tasks both on horseback and from the ground, and create artistic projects. There is a strong emphasis on students making decisions, gaining independence, and improving self-confidence.

Kids in KayaksKayaks

In conjunction with our partnership with The Outside Foundation, students participated in a field trip to explore our local watershed.  A highlight of the trip is kayaking along the May River, where students are led by knowledgeable tour guides who provide information and and ask questions about local plants and animals.  In addition to kayaking, students also explore an Enviroscape model, a model of a watershed, into which “pollutants” are added and students see how they travel to waterways when it rains. Students also pull organisms from the water and from a floating dock to look at them under microscopes, and test saltwater for dissolved oxygen and PH.  While on this trip, students gain many science skills, but also improve their ability to make observations and think critically about them, learn to adapt and problem solve, communicate and work in teams. The overall goal of the program is to connect students with the their local environment. Students also explore the topic of the local watershed as part of the River of Words project. This is a district-wide initiative that connects art, poetry, and science.  Students write poems about the local ecosystem and create artwork, either traditionally or digitally. Outstanding poetry and artwork is published in the Beaufort County River of Words anthology.

Click here to view more photos from Kids in Kayak.

iRobots - Vex Robotics Team
Students in our Automation and Robotics course learn the foundations of coding and programming. Here they gain experience with the VEX Robots and have hand-on opportunities working with the equipment and software. Students who are interested in competing have the opportunity to join the Robotics Club. This club meets after school to work on the competition level synopsis presented by VEX. Each year, the teams are sent the real-world problem to solve. The full process from design, build, evaluation and competition is done completely by the students with teacher as the facilitator. Bluffton Middle School’s “iRobots” team was successful during the qualifiers round and competed at the state level for the past 2 years. They also were invited to compete at the national competition.

VEX Robotics