Melissa Spruill, Fairview Elementary’s STEM Lab Manager, works in partnership with classroom teachers to plan several STEM challenges throughout the year. Challenges are designed to be open-ended, allowing for multiple solutions and giving the students the opportunity to be creative, while building collaborative skills with their teams. Students are also introduced to possible STEM careers, embedded in each challenge. Language arts standards are integrated into each challenge through speaking and listening skills, as well as writing. Students record their brainstorming and planning strategies, creating diagrams and a materials list while showing their understanding of the criteria and constraints put forth in each challenge. Students also take the time to reflect on the process they used to create their designs, as well as discuss the parts of the design that worked well or what they needed to improve.