The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

Minneapolis


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STEM Classes Create Tighter Bond Than Humanities Classes

Labs, problem sets, worksheets all lead to an unbreakable bond

STEM courses go beyond the typical talkative nature in the first 5 minutes of class, producing strong bonds between students. The root of this is in the way that Blake structures its courses, as well as the problem solving nature of the material. 

Our math program is built around students collaborating in class to explore difficult or new techniques. This process of problem solving requires students to bounce ideas off of each other, as well as to work through not knowing the answer. As a result of this, I have become significantly closer to people I share math and science classes with. The vulnerability of being wrong, as well as the frustration of the struggle creates a bond rooted in collaboration.

Additionally, while working through a problem, the conversations that you have go beyond normal chit chat. They are mentally grueling. You not only learn about people’s personalities, but you learn how they think, and this in turn, can change the way you yourself see the problem, strengthening not only your bond, but also your method of problem solving.  

There is something to be said about the late night FaceTime calls that also bond STEM students. Everyone is delirious together, and it is not always the best thinking, but everyone is in it together, bonding students more.

The mistakes you make in a lab or math class define and shape your understanding of the material. One of my favorite memories from chemistry this year occurred when we were doing a lab that involved observing the atomic spectra of different ions of elections. In order to do this, the lab must be fully dark, and you must turn on a bunsen burner and put some of the ion in the flame to observe its unique spectra. I couldn’t see which gas valve was connected to the bunsen burner, and I accidentally turned on the one that was not attached, filling the lab with gas. 

We ended up almost lighting the entire school on fire because we almost started the flame starter but the overwhelming smell of gas stopped us and we got a teacher. In the moment, it was not funny, but now looking back, that moment bonded all of us and we share the embarrassment and near death experience of that memory.

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