After studying STEAM pedagogy during a Kast Grant, Lower School Art Coordinator Jessica Grisafi and Lower School Science Coordinator Craig Newberger piloted the STEAM Studio in 4th grade classes during the 2016-17 school year. The goal is to build vertical growth of STEAM experiences and learning throughout all divisions.
STEAM Studio Projects
During the 2017-18 school year, Jess and Craig incorporated 12 STEAM sessions into the 4th Grade rotation, introducing fun and collaborative exercises based on the tenets of STEAM. Projects included creating tape mazes and guiding classmates through them, studying kinectic sculpture with special guest Barney Stone, 'mindmapping' the way our brains process ideas, and designing a translator device.
Students also presented their projects to 1st-5th Grade students and teachers during a special assembly, driving additional collaboration like 3rd Grade STEAM Challenges and a STEAM Buddies program that pairs 5th graders and Kindergarteners for a toy design project based on design thinking.
The Tinker Lab
The Tinker Lab has a new home! As part of capital improvements to McLean and Leas Hall, an expanded Tinker Lab provides an innovative makerspace for all students in PreK through 5th Grade.
The Tinker Lab engages learners in the creative process of making by providing materials that encourage innovation, collaboration, and creative problem-solving. This 21st century space includes a woodworking area with real tools, cooking equipment, a Lego wall, natural building materials and Little Bits circuits.
Interested in learning more about how to implement STEAM in your classroom? These activity books are a great place to start!
I believe that if we want our students to be lifelong learners, we need to make learning more like life.
– Jessica Grisafi, PreK-12 STEAM Coordinator
The STEAM Method relies on:
- Communication across two or more disciplines
- Student inquiry, dialogue, and experimentation
- Critical and innovative reasoning
- Experiential learning
- Real-world challenges
- Thoughtful risk-taking
- Persistence in problem-solving