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STEM isn’t scary, but it can trap a monster

student holding their monster trap

They read, they planned, they designed and they crafted: Fort Plain first graders used lots of their STEM skills to create monster traps just in time for Halloween.

Led by teachers Caitlin Baker, Ashley Bargstedt, Stephanie Boyer and Ashley Searles, the classes first read the stories “Monster Trouble” and “How to Catch a Monster.”

“Then, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, the students devised a plan for their project,” Baker said. “We talked about how engineers make up a plan before they invent something, and then follow through with testing out lots of different materials. There were no rules except to share and try to trap the monsters. We talked about things that would not work to trap the monsters.”

On Wednesday and Thursday, the first grade classrooms were a whirlwind of creative activity as the students worked on their projects. Scissors snipped and glue flowed as they transformed boxes and paper, pipe cleaners and cotton, tape and tongue depressors into detailed monster traps bedecked with glitter, decals, ribbons, googly eyes and original artwork.

On Friday, Oct. 29, the traps will go home for a real Halloween road test.

student working on monster trap

student working on monster trap

two students smiling together

Building a monster trap taps into STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills, plus reading and communicating, sharing and problem-solving, creating and presenting, and working as a team. 

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