By Mignona Hall - Spartanburg School District Seven
Through the evolving landscape of education, teachers are consistently seeking ways to engage students, and students are constantly seeking engagement opportunities. Teachers are faced with the exciting challenge of preparing students for a future that demands adaptability, critical thinking, and creativity. As technological advancements are transforming industries at an unprecedented pace, educators are recognizing the need to equip students with a diverse skill set beyond rote memorization. Innovating and elevating the ways we increase student academic achievement in our academic climate is necessary. One powerful approach is to Power Through: Full STEAM Ahead, gaining traction through the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. STEAM creates an environment where curiosity is sparked, innovative thinking is nurtured, and students are actively engaged in their own learning journey. This holistic and interdisciplinary approach propels students toward academic excellence, making the journey achievable and enjoyable. From harnessing the power of science and technology to encouraging artistic expression, let’s explore how the integration of STEAM can revolutionize the educational experience for teachers and students.
1.) Building a Foundation with Science and Technology
Provide students with hands-on opportunities that allow them to explore scientific concepts and utilize technology.
Use technology to immerse students into real-world applications of science and technology. 2.) Igniting Curiosity through Engineering
Introduce students to real-world scenarios that encourage problem-solving and critical thinking.
Engage students in collaborative projects in their classrooms and local communities where they design and build prototypes, fostering teamwork, accountability, and creativity.
3.) Leveraging Expressive Arts & Incorporating ELA Standards
Encourage students to express their understanding of scientific concepts through art, fostering creativity and a deeper connection to the material.
Allow the art to be in the form of literature: speeches, narratives, podcasts, informational writing, persuasive pieces, and argumentative pieces.
4.) Using Mathematics as the Common Thread
Emphasize the interconnectedness of mathematics with the real-world, showing students how math is a fundamental tool in solving problems across various fields.
Integrate mathematical topics, showing the progression of mathematical skills.
5.) Connecting Learning to the Real World
Utilize community resources to allow students to analyze problems and solutions in their communities.
Invite community members from STEAM fields to share their experiences and demonstrate real-world applications of classroom concepts.
Organize field trips to museums, science centers, technology companies, and engineering companies to expose students to the practical side of their education.
6.) Assessing STEAM through Project Based Learning
Allow students to apply their knowledge in innovative ways.
Use holistic rubrics to evaluate students on their collaboration, problem solving skills, and the quality of their project outcomes.
Allow students to showcase their projects, building confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
Integrating STEAM into the classroom and curriculum not only prepares students for future careers, but also cultivates a love for learning and empowers them to think critically and creatively. As times change, so do the needs and necessities of our students. Now, more than ever students must be prepared to be leaders, innovators, and creators. By embracing the interdisciplinary nature of STEAM, teachers can unlock the academic potential of their students and prepare them for success in our rapidly evolving world.
STEAM Websites for Lessons & Resources:
Here’s a link to an abundance of STEM & STEAM resources.
Example of a STEAM Scenario in Action!
Constellations are visible in the night sky and they are patterns of visible stars. The planetarium at Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville, SC displays the three major constellations we can see: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, and Orion. They are now looking for another way to display these constellations! They are reaching out to a team of fourth-graders to make this happen. You will create one of the constellations above by creating circuits. You will then find the biggest obtuse angle and acute angle and measure them with your protractor. To be chosen as the team with the best depiction of the constellation, your team will be tasked with the job of creating a visual such as a slideshow, infographic, or any digital display providing visitors with information about your constellation.
About the Author
Mignona Hall is currently a fifth grade teacher and former district Teacher of the Year in Spartanburg District 7. With an enthusiastic mindset to impact the educational field, her goal is to lead and work alongside educators to change our current educational landscape for all students. To learn more and follow her on her educational journey connect with her through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on X @HallPassToLearn