Developing 21st Century Skills Through STEM

As a part of our science and social studies curriculum, Grade 2 students have been studying the history of transportation by exploring the inventions that were created to make our lives easier. 

To spark engagement, the children were introduced to the  WeDo 2.0 Lego Education robotics program.  This program brings to life 100 building elements that motivate students to collaborate, build, problem-solve, and explore, all while deepening their STEAM learning and developing 21st-century skills. The students learned to follow multiple-step directions and code a variety of robots to move forward, backward, light up, and make sounds. 

Then, they “drove” into the study of cars and explored how innovation has made our lives safer (no brakes?!) and more comfortable (no heated seats or music??) during the 20th century. Lastly, they studied the history of flight. 

This curriculum gave students an opportunity to apply the engineering design process; ask, imagine, plan, create, improve, and share while creating six different vehicles based on a set of challenges. 

For example, one challenge was to create a fantasy car out of LEGOs with the Smarthub as the base. Then, by using what they’ve learned from the WeDo programming format, they had to code the car to complete an obstacle course.   

The trimester of study culminated in a Transportation Showcase on November 8 in the Multipurpose Room. Parents and guests attended to learn from our student experts.

The hands-on event represented child-centered learning and inquiry at its finest through the promotion of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Barb DiTirro has taught Grade 1 and 2 students at Old Trail School for 20 years. She also serves as the Instructional Leader for the Mathematics Department at OTS.  Mrs. DiTirro enjoys spending her days teaching enthusiastic students while working to meet their needs throughout their journey to success. She can be reached at

Laine Vereecken has taught Grade 2 students at Old Trail School for 21 years. She also serves as the Instructional Leader for the Language Arts Department at OTS.  Mrs. Vereecken is passionate about innovative curriculum to meet the needs of all of her students. She can be reached at

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