Friday, June 10, 2016

Full STEAM Ahead

STEAM in Pond Cove:
On June 1st, 2016, the Cape Elizabeth Cape-E-Team put on a STEAM appreciation night, called “If I Built A Library” night. This night celebrated STEAM, and the CEEF for giving the Cape Elizabeth Pond Cove Elementary School a $40,000 grant to build a brand new library and maker space. This night was perfect for our new integration with STEAM and was for kindergarten and first grade students.
We had many different activities that incorporated each letter of STEAM. For the “S”, “Science”, we had a station to help your mind start cranking. Try and hold a book up with one piece of paper and tape. For the “T”, “Technology”, each grade used an application on the iPad’s to create their very own book called “If I Built a Library”. The “E” for “Engineering” was a lego building station where students designed their own library out of Legos. The “A” for “Arts” brought out student creativity and allowed them to draw and color the library of their dreams. And lastly, “M”, for “Mathematics”, students used scales to weigh books.
All of these tasks integrated the concepts from STEAM into fun and learning tasks for these younger students. This night was a great experience for all, and we look forward to more similar evenings.

What is STEAM?

The “S” in STEAM stands for “Science”, “T” is for “Technology”, “E” is for “Engineering”, “A” is for “Art”, and “M” is for “Math”.

STEAM is a philosophy that teaches kids real world skills through project based learning. This is explained by simple anatomy. The left side of our brain is where our critical thinking takes place. This is why STEM was originally created, so that students could focus on the logic side of their brain. However, people realized that the right side of the brain, the part that fosters our creativity, was equally important. Why use half a brain when you could use all of it? With that being said, soon the “A” for “Arts” was added to create the new acronym, STEAM. STEAM educators are critical in our world today. They are teaching our kids how to use both sides of their brains, which is the most innovative way to teach the new generation.

Why is STEAM Important?

STEAM is important for all students to learn because we all want to be successful, and we want our kids to be successful. This program allows students to get jobs in the fields that are most needed throughout the United States right now, and it allows students to work on innovating the future generations.
We don’t have enough people who can fill job requirements for technology and scientific jobs. Most college majors aren’t a part of STEAM, and the number of graduates in the STEAM fields are only growing by .8%. This job market is at the top of the list for expansion, and will have grown by 14% from 2010 to 2020. STEM helps enable our workforce with more technicians, and A(Arts) makes it fun for the students to learn STEM. Also, it benefits gender roles and ethnic gaps because it focuses on the STEAM requirements and not on the minorities that are present in our society. No one is a minority through this program because everyone is viewed as an equal.