STEM education is being integrated to traditional education worldwide because of ithe proven benefits it has on K12 (up to middle school grades) students. Now-a-days is part of USA´s national education and it has made a huge step in Europe´s educational scenario.
Basically, STEM is an interdisciplinary approach (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to everyday problems to give the kids the necessary tools to come up with a solution, or at least, trace a road to it. It develops their creative thinking, social skill (collaborative work) and the others 21st century skills.
Last year was the school´s first approach to this type of education, although it wasn’t a full implementation of a STEM curriculum, it helped to set the foundations and a good starting point to achieve a global certification in the near future.
What are we steaming?
- This year STEAM is not STEAM anymore but STEM
After a proper investigation we found that the STEM initiative is inclusive not only for Arts, but for every other subject or knowledge approach. That means that the letter “A”, or any other letter for that matter, does not need to be included in the name.
- We are working on project modules
Last year students worked on four different projects, one for each period, that weren’t directly connected to each other. This helped to keep them motivated because they were working on different new projects each two months.
This year we are working on a big project that is going to be presented to the community in the 3rd term. The other two projects (1st and 2nd terms) are going to be small simpler projects related to the big one and will help the students to be as prepared as they can for their presentations.
They will start with basic concept projects and will construct their way to the more complex ones.
Has it been a good trip so far?
Kids are learning and are motivated because they are now acquiring a deep understanding of a particular subject. They are getting the opportunity to apply all the “apparently individual” knowledge of all of the school subjects to understand the world around them.
2nd grade is working on models to understand the main body systems. They modeled lungs in the first project, they are modeling a hand in the second term, and they are going to model the digestive and the heart for the 3rd. The day of the presentation they will be able to give the audience a good picture of how our main organs work and shape their lives every day.
- “A part” instead of “apart”
We are planning to go full speed next year by replacing the STEM class with an Engineering class, that way we will implement an interdisciplinary approach on each subject to destroy the barriers of traditional education. Math class won’t be apart anymore, but a part of a one solid methodology, where kids can use science, arts, engineering, technology, social studies and any other type of knowledge on any of their classes.
Next station: A top of the art education!
BY Arturo Insignares/ Docente GCF