Unleashing STEM Wonder in Hausner's Lower School

Unleashing STEM Wonder in Hausner's Lower School
Pooja Dimba, 3rd Grade Lead Teacher and Lower School STEM Lead

In the heart of Silicon Valley, where innovation thrives and technology evolves at a rapid pace, the importance of STEM education cannot be overstated. At Hausner, we are on a mission to ignite young minds, nurturing a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that will shape the innovators of tomorrow. Explore the dynamic STEM adventures taking place within our TK-4 classrooms.

Hands-On Exploration

At Hausner, the emphasis on curiosity and creativity cannot be stressed enough. Students are encouraged to explore and engage with STEM concepts tangibly. For example, when learning about the mechanism by which human muscles control bones to move the body, fourth graders at Hausner construct models of the human finger and observe how pulling on a string (a model for tendons) causes it to bend at the joint. Some students then take that learning to the next level to learn how to automatize or 3D print their model. Second graders develop their understanding of plant growth and survival by making and planting milkweed seed balls under a grow light and also in our community garden. By comparing the growth and survival results of the two groups, second graders begin to understand that the environment and other external variables such as weather, insects, and fertilizer affect the growth of plants. Opportunities such as creativity lab classes with teacher Sarrie Paguirigan, and events such as Hausner’s annual Math and Code Fest, allow students to explore robotics and coding games with the support of knowledgeable teachers, helping them develop a curiosity for the world around them. 

Tech-Savvy Scholars

Hausner’s students are at the cutting edge. With state-of-the-art resources and educational platforms, such as coding applications like Kodable, Tynker, and Scratch, and robotics kits, our young scholars are empowered to harness the power of technology in meaningful ways. By integrating technology into our curriculum, we're equipping them with the digital fluency needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving world. Third graders recorded and edited their very own videos to document their process of building cardboard rovers for Hausner’s annual STEM and Maker Fair. Not only did this allow for the students to self-reflect on the engineering and design process required for making the rovers, but they also used technology to showcase all the hard work they had dedicated to making a rover!

Nurturing a Growth Mindset

We foster a culture of resilience and growth through a supportive learning environment. We encourage our students to embrace challenges, persevere through setbacks, and celebrate their progress along the way. Hausner students are exposed to developing a growth mindset as early as Kindergarten. This year, Hausner Kindergarteners built their very own chair for Baby Bear (from Goldilocks and the Three Bears) using the Design Process model. The Kindergarteners were given specific materials to use and had to make a chair that balanced on all legs and held the baby bear without dropping him. Through the design thinking process, they learned to plan, design, build, redesign, and re-build their chairs, learning how to persevere and keep growing! The third graders also used the design thinking process to design and engineer a rover that could travel farther than the prototype built by their teachers. While some of the rovers immediately surpassed the distance traveled by the prototype, others did not. Despite setbacks, the third graders were able to successfully reflect on and improvise their rover designs. By instilling a growth mindset, we empower Hausner students to approach the task with confidence and determination, helping them understand that the process of designing, building, and reflecting is at the heart of what matters in STEM.

Connecting STEM to the Real World

STEM education isn't just about what happens in the classroom—it is about making connections to the world around us. Through experiential learning opportunities, such as sprouting plant seeds, creating chain reaction machines, building toothpick bridges, and creating arcade games from cardboard and recycled materials, integrating knowledge of materials and cost, our students gain a deeper understanding of how STEM shapes our everyday lives. By bridging theory with practice, we are inspiring them to envision themselves as future leaders and innovators.


The spirit of innovation is encouraged and thrives at Hausner. Through hands-on exploration, technology integration, and a commitment to cultivating a growth mindset, we are preparing our students to excel. As they embark on this exciting journey of discovery, we can't wait to see the remarkable contributions they will make to our world, fueled by curiosity, compassion, and a continuous love for learning.


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