Launching STEM Initiatives with the VariQuest Cutout Maker

October 14, 2013 Lindsey Graff

Featuring Cannon Elementary: A GCSID STEM School

can2Cannon Elementary School in Grapevine, Texas, has launched a new STEM initiative for the 2013-2014 school year. Starting this fall, teachers have integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) into all content areas in order to equip future innovators with the skills they need to be successful in an increasingly technological world. As a STEM school, educators at Cannon are now: 

  • Employing lesson ideas that focus on creativity, critical thinking & innovation
  • Utilizing a project-based learning approach through inquiry-based instruction in a real-world context
  • Emphasizing design and problem solving
  • Inspiring students about “frontier” education & careers at an early age

In the past several months, Cannon has purchased a number of new tools to help power the STEM initiative, including the VariQuest Cutout Maker 1800 and the Premium Access Content CD (PACD). We reached out to Cannon staff this month to learn more about how the Cutout Maker is helping them support new STEM initiatives.

Check out all the creative ways teachers at Cannon are using the VariQuest Cutout Maker:

1. Communicate their school’s STEM mission for the year: “Building our future, one piece at a time”

building one piece variquest

fit in puzzle variquest

puzzle pieces variquest

connection puzzle variquest

2. Promote departmental initiatives – the Phy Ed Department at Cannon is excellent at communicating via visually-appealing displays

gym puzzle variquest resized 600

pe puzzle resized 600

3. Utilize cutouts to help explain technological instructions. Cannon is now a 1:1 iPad school and we love how they’ve used the Cutout Maker to create iPads displays!

ipad 1 resized 600

ipad2 resized 600

4. Encourage students to get connected via social media (Check out their Facebook Page at or follow their school library on Twitter at @cannonreads)

connect at library resized 600

you are important resized 600

5. Create dynamic, engaging word walls

scrabble cutout resized 600

wordwall variquest resized 600

6. Promote upcoming events, such as Lego League Competitions!

lego wall resized 600

lego wall 2 resized 600

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