Thursday, July 11, 2013

STEAM school update

My school is quickly diving into being a STEAM school - something I am really excited about!  We wanted to really BE a STEAM school and not just SAY we are a STEAM school and that has taken some planning, thinking, and reflection.  Luckily, my school already has some AMAZING curriculum resources available to help with this endeavor and we think we have the perfect combination to create a really good program.

S = Science - FOSS science kits and science notebooks (K-5)
T = Technology - Lego robotics, squishy circuits, hummingbird kit, 3-D printer
E = Engineering - Engineering is Elementary
A = Arts - CETA program (in conjunction with the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC)
M = Mathematics - Investigations program (by TERC)

Top this off with a really good reading curriculum (FINALLY) provided by Benchmark Literacy that allows us to integrate science and literacy easily and effectively.

So what is this approach going to look like? It will look different at each level.  Our primary teachers will continue to teach Science and Math using the curriculum tools available as well as adding in more time for science explorations and engineering.

We have purchased a few kits for the younger grades from EIE including:  Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills :Students explore how various materials catch the wind and then design their own small windmills.
This curriculum is perfectly aligned with Air and Weather (a FOSS kit) and can be used as a culminating lesson or stands on it's own as a week long unit.

Are you ready to learn some more about what is on the horizon in science education? I'm back and ready to roll!

See you soon....


1 comment:

  1. Awesome! This year I was first introduced to STEM at my new school. I jumped right in and was a part of a fantastic team where we designed a STEM week where members from the community came out and created hands on activities for the kids...all day, all week! It was absolutely fabulous!!!! You should know, our community is very different because we live in Okinawa, Japan and our community is based on Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy personnel. We even had a few Japanese engineers create some activities. Favorites this year for our students: the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team (bomb squad) came out with their robots and let the kids drive them and complete obstacles with the different robots; My husband's communication battalion sent 6 marines to run a scavenger hunt around the school answering questions about the evolution of communication (sounds waves and electromagnets).
    This was an amazing week of learning, so this year our team wants to create smaller activities throughout the year leading up to this huge week. I am excited to read about your adventures as a STEAM school.