Think Tank creates new opportunities at Pilot Knob
Think Tank creates new opportunities for STEM learning at Pilot Knob
Posted on 02/13/2015

Think TankLocated at the heart of Pilot Knob STEM Magnet School in the school’s media center is the new “Think Tank” – a 21st Century learning space sporting computers, a large monitor equipped with Apple TV for presentations, building tables for robotics and LEGO engineering lessons, even a new 3D printer. Built out of the imaginations of Pilot Knob teachers and funded by the school’s PTA (Parent Teacher Association), the Think Tank will provide another center for students to focus on STEM-related activities.

“We were fortunate to receive classroom technology and personal devices, such as iPads, through the federal magnet grant a few years ago, shifting us away from needing a traditional computer lab,” said Pilot Knob Principal Tom Benson. “The Think Tank will be a much better use of this space for kids.”

The transformation from an outdated computer lab into the Think Tank was made possible thanks to the Pilot Knob PTA. After several years of careful budgeting, the PTA entered 2015 with a fundraising surplus and an interest in making a unique donation with the extra funds.Think Tank 2

“We are incredibly grateful to the Pilot Knob PTA for deciding to fund the Think Tank,” Gross said. “This dynamic learning area will expose students to STEM topics they would not otherwise receive in their grade-level classrooms. The Think Tank will provide a space for students to explore and inquire at an individual pace, while still being able to collaborate with fellow classmates on hands-on, project based activities.”

While STEM lessons are infused throughout the daily curriculum at Pilot Knob, the Think Tank will provide one more venue for focused instruction outside of Gross’ STEM Lab and Project Lead the Way sessions. It will be used by students in all grades, K-4.

“We plan on having quarterly or monthly stations that can be rotated into and out of the room,” Gross said. “The plan is to have four stations during each rotation in addition to the LEGOs and 3D printer: one for science, technology, engineering and math. In the future, we will also have a green screen installed so the room can be used as a mini-recording studio for students creating iMovies, Educreations, and more.”

The Think Tank is still a work in progress, but will be officially unveiled at the Pilot Knob STEM Fair on Feb. 26. Guests are invited to stop by the Think Tank and take a look at the changes that have already been implemented.