Bluewater District School Board

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Students Make STEM Connections Through Music

Students Make STEM Connections Through Music
Posted on 02/13/2023
Students and staff blending music at DJ stationBluewater District School Board educators continue to proactively explore engaging, innovative, and fun ways to introduce STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to their students.  On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, Laura McFarlane’s Grade 8 classes from East Ridge Community and Beaver Valley Community schools met for a series of hands-on workshops that fostered learning in mathematics, science, social justice, and music.  The auditorium at East Ridge was transformed into a hip-hop haven of catchy beats and vibes as representatives of the Math Thru Music program educated and entertained a captive student audience.  It was a unique opportunity for students to make STEM connections by using modern DJ (disc jockey) equipment and computers to blend songs.  A history lesson on the evolution of recording technology, from the phonograph to today’s developments, provided understanding of how sound waves are captured and recorded, appreciation for the methods used over the past century, and awareness of hip-hop roots.

Students learned how important math is when blending songs – calculating rates/ratios and percentages all while listening to the results of their calculations.  The final presentation of the day focused on social justice and equality.  A positive message of community involvement in the hip-hop movement was conveyed.  Students were invited to consider the conditions that many people were living in when hip- hop first emerged, and how it has evolved as an inclusive and exciting art form.  In a moving finale, presenter Joseph Khargie used techniques, like scratching and spoken word poetry, to compel students to consider all aspects of hip-hop culture, including technology, fashion, art, dance, music, and message while exploring the genre.

By synthesizing their learning, students were able to experience and observe the various aspects of STEM in a whole new way.  The feedback from participants was incredible with a strong likelihood that similar opportunities will be planned in the future.  Students at both East Ridge and Beaver Valley will now continue learning through music, science, and math classes with the team of intermediate teachers leading the way at their respective schools.

Bluewater District School Board is located on the traditional land of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which is represented by the communities of Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
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