Jul 28, 2018

Students learn happily ever after with fairy-tale stem lessons

Lynette Miller, a teacher at Fermanagh-Mifflintown Elementary School in Juniata County, transports students to a fairy-tale land to teach basic science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts.

The Three Little Pigs, the Three Billy Goats Gruff and Rapunzel aren’t just familiar figures from fairy tales. They’re helping first-graders learn about science and math, too.

Lynette Miller, a teacher at Fermanagh-Mifflintown Elementary School in Juniata County, is using fairy tale-themed kits that teach basic science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Each kit features a problem children have to solve, and teaches them about the design process, creativity, and cause and effect.

In one lesson, children are challenged to design a stable chair for Papa Bear in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” In another, a gingerbread man has to cross the water, and students have to figure out how to get him there.

Miller purchased the kits using a $1,000 Empowering Educators grant from the PPL Foundation. The foundation awards 25 grants each year to help teachers in central and eastern Pennsylvania spark their kids’ imaginations with creative, hands-on STEM projects.

“Supporting STEM education now will pay off with a strong, well-educated workforce in the future,” said Tracie Witter, a PPL regional affairs director for the Mifflintown area. “We’re pleased to support creative, engaging projects like the ones that are helping Lynette Miller’s students learn about problem-solving.”