New Imaginarium STEM Space Introduced at St. Dominic's Elementary and Middle Schools

New Imaginarium STEM Space Introduced at St. Dominic's Elementary and Middle Schools

St. Dominic Elementary and Middle School in Oyster Bay created a new Imaginarium space or students to use as part of the district's STEM program. The space opened to middle school students in Sept. 2018 and is slated to open to elementary school students later this year. Activities in the Imaginarium are used to reinforce lessons from the traditional classroom in a way that encourages students to work together, identify problems, and use their imaginations.

For example, students may learn about energy and force and then design and conduct their own experiments with ramps of different lengths and angles and measure the speed of toy cars as they race down hill. The Imaginarium is stocked with beakers, Legos, arts and crafts, pre-made science experiment kits, and raw materials. 

This flexible space can be customized for various ages and projects.

"The kids love it. When they're working on a project, they can't wait to tell you what they're doing," says Ron Martorelli, principal of St. Dominic Elementary and Middle Schools. "They can also identify how they have failed and what they have learned."

The Imaginarium teaches students to think outside the box, to utilize resources, and to work as a team. Sometimes students choose which groups to work with and others they are assigned, that way they can help each other and collaborate on ideas. 

The Imaginarium is still a work in progress, but eventually it will become a place where any teacher can sign out the room for any grade level, and use it for any program.

Main image: instead of desks, it has standing tables that can be moved around. When younger students begin working in the Imaginarium, lower tables will be added.

Courtesy St. Dominic's Elementary and Middle School