Kindergarteners tackle STEM at Inspire Kids Montessori

Move over ABCs and “Jack and Jill.” Here comes motion, friction and cause and effect.

At least that’s what students at Inspire Kids Montessori at 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee, are learning – along with those subjects normally associated with classrooms of kindergarten children.

The school’s kindergarten class is exploring math and physics by observing the speed of toy cars on various surfaces as part of a creative Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) project.

“For their end-of-year project, our kindergarten class will be observing how the speed of an object — in this case toy cars on special ramps — correlates to the use of different surface textures and ramp heights. They will also learn how to measure the results,” explained Diana Darmawaskita, who founded Inspire Kids in 2010 after a successful career as an engineer.

The school offers programs for children 6 weeks through 6 years of age that incorporate STEM principles into a curriculum based on the teachings of Italian educator Maria Montessori.

According to Darmawaskita, students will present their findings to parents and classmates in May to introduce the kids to public speaking.

“These projects truly engage students and help them develop critical thinking skills. It teaches them, from an early age, that math and science can be fun,” Darmawaskita said.

Past end-of-year projects have included “The Layers of the Ocean,” “Catapults,” among other STEM topics.


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