STEAM – It’s a great buzz word in education, but too often it’s thrown around without a full understanding of what it truly means.
In preparation for this summer’s Arts Integration and STEAM Retreat, I thought it would be a great idea to review two of the key components to real STEAM. (There are more, but we’ll start with 2 for now.) Let’s get started:
1>>>>As a branch of arts integration, STEAM incorporates (and integrates) standards in both a STEM subject and an art form. These standards need to be naturally aligned, meaning they have an elegant fit. These can’t be standards that are forced to work together. Rather, they need to have a common focus together.
For example, last summer, at the Arts Integration & STEAM Retreat, teachers worked on an amazingly poignant project creating recycled ocean creatures. In this lesson, we addressed science standards that deal with ocean currents and the impact our plastic waste has on the ocean, ocean creatures and us! We used our observational skills to create 3D representations of sea creatures that were stuffed with recycled plastic – a process and product that truly makes an impression on the artist and environmentalist inside all of us!
I’m actually going to be leading this project with the entire 4th grade in my school soon and look forward to sharing our art work with you in June for World Ocean Day!
2>>>>STEAM lessons are inquiry-based and focus on the process of learning. In such a lesson, a question is posed and then time is given for students to collaborate, question, explore, hypothesize and test ideas.
A couple of summers ago, teachers were given a question and some materials to create an art bot: a robot that creates art! The question: How can you use these materials to create a personified robot that creates art using a variety of lines and textures? Through their work together, their creativity and critical thinking, these teachers were able to make robots that explored different lines, circles, and dots in art. (More on art bots, including how to create one, in a later post!)
As part of last summer’s Arts Integration & STEAM Retreat course, repeater retreat and high school math teacher, Amanda Ting created a brochure that advocates for the need for STEAM education. In it, she ties her retreat experiences to her STEAM learning and that of her students.
These points are embedded in her work and I encourage you to see what she created!
Amanda invites you to use her brochure to advocate for STEAM learning in your classroom, school and district.
You can get an instant download to her brochure here:
After you download it, please share your thoughts and how you plan to use it with Amanda and other Inspiring Teachers when you join our FB Group!
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See you in the group!