Visit the CPS Stem Works website to learn more about what STEM is, why STEM programs are offered, and how STEM benefits our students and community. A list of career paths related to STEM and frequently asked questions can be found on the STEM WORKS website.
STEM WORKS for everyone.
Columbus Middle School provides three courses exposing students to STEM concepts and critical thinking. All students take a STEM class in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, delivered by STEM teachers Trevor Korte, Joe Krysl, and Kelly Loschen. A STEM Academy, built as part of the new high school, will provide extended experiences for students to explore STEM pathways and careers.
STEM 6 - Discovering
In the Discovering STEM 6 curriculum, students are introduced to STEM concepts. Students take part in an activity from each STEM area with culminating activities that put their STEM skills to the test.
- Unit-Manufacturing a Product: Teams design a product utilizing custom, job lot, and mass production as a process to produce a product to sell.
- Unit-Discovering Sketching and Drafting: Students sketch, board draft, and measure an orthographic drawing using Solidworks to create a blueprint with both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional drawings.
- Unit-Design (with Lighter Than Air Vehicles): Students study density, and then apply concepts by designing and constructing a balloon to reach a certain height.
- Unit-Problem-Solving Method (with Competitive Vehicle Design): The six steps of design are used to design, construct, and evaluate a CO2 dragster in order to understand the problem-solving/scientific method .
- Unit-Discovery Electronics: Students increase their understanding of how everyday electronic devices work including integrated circuits, light emitting diodes (LED’s), photocells, semiconductors, and other electronic components.
- Unit-Introduction to Robotics: Students learn about different types of gears and their uses to construct a motorized gear train vehicle that is tested on different types of terrains.
- Unit-Designing Architectural Escape Routes: Students research, plan, design, and introduce safe escape routes, and practice the safety plan with their family in the event of an emergency.
STEM 7 - Designing
The Designing with STEM 7 curriculum is packed with a variety of tools, machines, and methods to design, construct, and find solutions to problems. Students examine and follow the integral steps of critical design and problem solving.
STEM 8 - Investigating
Investigating STEM 8 curriculum integrates STEM concepts from the Discovering and Designing courses in 6th and 7th grade with design, construction, and problem-solving. Three primary elements of manufacturing are emphasized: tools, materials, and processes. Students gain an understanding of the evolution of engineering.
- Unit-Mechanical Engineering: Building mousetrap cars allows the students to experience the process of design and engineering, starting with an idea and turning the idea into a real-life model that works.
- Unit-Sustainable Energy Engineering: Student teams design and build a working windmill out of everyday products, learning how wind energy is generated to create electricity. Students evaluate the effectiveness of their windmills and present their findings to the class.
- Unit-Introduction to Robotics (with Syringe Robots): Students empowered with concepts related to simple machines, robotics, and fluid power systems build and operate a robotic arm to perform a real world task.
- Unit-Designing and Modeling (with Solidworks): Students use Solidworks to understand, conceptualize, and create 3-dimensional objects or parts. Students use these parts to construct and assemble a product via software.
- Unit-Problem Solving (with Balsa Wood Bridges): Students design and build bridges using balsa wood sections, emphasizing sturdy structures, and considering environmentally-conscious building practices with efficient use of resources.
- Unit-History of Engineering: Students look back in time to explore early engineers and their accomplishments. Students learn about the evolution of design and engineering through internet research.
- Unit-Career Exploration (with Career Fields and Clusters): This unit focuses on career development competencies in areas of career planning, occupational exploration, and the job search process.
Columbus Public Schools
2508 27th Street
Columbus, NE 68601
2508 27th Street
Columbus, NE 68601