Shaftsbury family night celebrates STEM

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SHAFTSBURY — Shaftsbury Elementary School's annual literacy night Friday featured decorated cupcakes, snacks, games, and even a robot that sounded suspiciously like the school's principal.

The event provides an opportunity for students and their families to spend an evening at the school participating in learning-related activities. Last year the family night was Dr. Seuss themed, but this year Principal Jeff Johnson said that the theme was STEM — short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Every student, upon entering the building, was given the opportunity to choose a free book and grab a small bag of popcorn and a bottle of water. In the library, a television played videos of students describing their science projects. In the main entryway, students displayed their STEM-themed cupcake creations. Some cupcake makers used marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and gum drops to make their desserts look like robots, while others decorated their concoctions with math symbols, atoms, elements, phases of the moon, and more. The winner of the contest decorated the top of each of their cupcakes with a globe.

In the classrooms, local STEM professionals read stories to the students, after which students colored robots and participated in engineering based puzzles, such as building towers out of cups, paper notecards, and binder clips and Popsicle sticks.

Derek Carson can be reached at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com, at @DerekCarsonBB on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 122.

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