Tallmadge -- Munroe Elementary School staff members challenged students and their parents to solve science and math-related problems during its Family Science Night April 2.

Nearly 165 students, most of whom were in grades 3 to 5, and their parents attended the biennial event. This is the second Family Science Night the middle school has hosted.

According to John Bryan, lead science teacher, the event seeks to promote modern science education.

"The purpose of this event was to demonstrate to the [families of students] and community members how science education has changed. It is not a passive subject anymore, but instead it asks students to solve real-world problems," he said.

Bryan collaborated with the other staff members to organize the event. Teachers designed the activities that centered around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math [STEM] and focused on problem solving. The staff also set up the stations and facilitated each activity with the students and parents.

"The tasks that were created were authentic, problem-based and can be applied in the real world," Bryan said.

The students and parents worked as teams to solve problems at each station. The activities ranged from designing and making a foil boat that holds the most weight to creating a sail that attaches to a toy car that is propelled by a fan.

Bryan explained that STEM integrates the four disciplines into real problems that need to be solved.

"We use the design process to approach solving a problem," he said. "Students design, build, test, evaluate and redesign their solution until the problem is solved.

"STEM is important because we are giving our students the skills they need for the 21st Century -- solving problems creatively and working collaboratively."

Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or hschoenstein@recordpub.com

Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.

Twitter: @SchoensteinH