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Pint-sized scientists at Brighton Beach’s PS 253 host expo

Check up time!: Sebastian Garcia and Rehan Cheema wait their turns for check ups in the doctor’s office they created as part of PS 253’s S.T.E.A.M. — science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics — Expo.
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They’re the future doctors of America!

Pint-sized students at PS 253 in Brighton Beach explored possible careers as doctors, nurses, and engineers during the elementary school’s second annual S.T.E.A.M — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics — Expo, held April 25–27.

Pre-kindergartners studied plants, kindergartners learned about farm animals, first-graders took a look at the human body and anatomy, and second-graders explored ancient Greek civilization.

Each class created an interactive project to go with what they had been studying for six weeks, and they loved finally seeing the fruits of their labor come to life at the three-day expo, said one of the school’s assistant principals.

“They had fun, they were laughing, they were smiling, they were learning. That was really important that children have fun when they are learning, interacting, speaking with their peers,” said Lauri Casale. “Everyone worked really, really hard to put it all together.”

The miniature Louis Pasteurs and Marie Curies built a faux doctor’s office equipped with medical records, an exam room, and operating room — they explored the human body, like the digestive system, through hands-on game and activities, and learned about what it means to stay healthy with exercise and eating, said Casale.

“They dressed as doctors and were pretending to be doctors and nurses,” she said. “Different children worked where they were giving informational pamphlets about the digestion system, and different systems of the body. It was lots of interactive hands-on games learning about body parts and systems of the body.”

The second-graders also incorporated their newly-learned coding skill set to create an algorithm to draw a Greek flag for their lessons about ancient Greece, said Casale.

“One thing they were really proud of in second grade was using coding, incorporating computer science into the program,” she said. “They created an algorithm of the Greek flag.”

And the accomplished students even invited their parents to visit the expo so they could learn too, said Casale.

“It was beautiful and so much hard work creating this,” she said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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