Students work with Connetix magnetic building tiles.

In BCS STEM Labs, kids learn to collaborate while working on fun challenges using the Engineering Design Process - "Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve."
Fairview Elementary School STEM Lab Coordinator Melissa Spruill recently received a grant from the Buncombe County Schools Foundation (BCSF) to buy Connetix magnetic building tiles. The magnets help younger kids create complex shapes that don’t fall easily. That experience prepares them for later grades when they’ll use more delicate materials. On Dec. 5, Ms. Spruill introduced second graders to the tiles and prompted them to build structures together.
“These are tools they can touch and play with, and that helps them develop 3D spatial awareness, imagination and critical thinking skills, geometric shapes, fine motor skills, cooperation, and more,” she said. “They’re great for the STEM Lab, because those skills help students succeed in every subject.”

Learn more about BCS STEM and STEAM labs at