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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

STEAM Focus: Wayland STEAM Institute 2016

Today I'll attend The Wayland STEAM Institute. I'm looking forward to the event.

Yesterday during a Learning Design Workshop, one educator shared her enthusiasm and her students' enthusiasm for STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art, and math) teaching and learning. It was exciting to listen to the teacher describe students' reactions and efforts related to the grade-level STEAM learning experiences. That educator wants to develop the efforts even more for her students, and that's what I want to do too.

As I listen to the presenter today, I'll be thinking of the following questions about STEAM teaching and learning.

First, I want to think about the overall curriculum map and how our grade-level teaching team will make time for this study in meaningful, relevant ways.

Next, I want to hear what the speaker and presenters have to say about classroom set-up for STEAM events. Materials organization, set-up, and use is a big factor when it comes to teaching STEAM well.

After that I'm curious about his suggestions with regard to developing skill and greater ability to teach/lead STEAM education.

Presenters from outside the school system bring a new voice and new lens to what we can do as educators. It's a valuable experience to have the opportunity to learn with colleagues from the system and nearby systems with a relaxed, summer schedule in a welcoming, learning environment.

I'll also share a couple of presentations related to STEAMwork too--presentations that reflect efforts we engage in at the fifth grade level.

I'll lead a workshop on the "TEAM in STEAM." Using Boaler's research in Mathematical Mindsets, participants will have an opportunity to study STEAM TEAM roles as they work together empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test to solve a design problem. Hopefully their creations will serve as a model as they later lead their students in a similar activity. I'm also hoping that together we'll take a detailed look at these roles and come up with greater language and breadth with regard to use and definition.

I'll also introduce educators to the wonderful Global Cardboard Project. We'll discuss ways that this can be implemented at various times during the school year and the many teaching/learning goals this project supports, projects such as service learning events, a school-wide arcade, and Rube Goldberg simple machine study.