STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!
This approach to learning is certainly not an easy task, but the benefits to students and the entire school community are tremendous. Students and teachers engaged in STEAM make more real-life connections so that school is not a place where you go to learn but instead becomes the entire experience of learning itself. We are always learning, always growing, always experimenting.
Key elements of our STEAM approach include:
– critical thinking and problem solving
– initiative and entrepreneurship
– curiosity and imagination
– collaboration between students, networks and local organisations
Below are just some of our recent experiences and partnerships we’ve created as part of our program.
At Rollins Primary School we are aligned with Deakin University and are a proud member of the STEM and Entrepreneurship in Primary Schools (SEPS) initiative. The program is designed to improve student engagement and learning with STEM and entrepreneurship. Our STEAM specialist teacher has taken part in two workshops to develop professional practice and a group of our 3/4 students took part in a Regional Maker Fair to exhibit some of their learning in the area of Bioplastics.
Another partnership we value is with the Henny Penny Hatching Program. This a thrilling educational experience for all, bringing the joy of watching eggs hatching, and chicks emerging from their shells. For children, in particular, these observations become a major point of discussion, a series of shared experiences which they can verbalise and which will enhance communication on all levels. Our STEM and classroom teachers use the program with their students in a range of educationally relevant ways in which their classes can respond to their individual experiences. These include the creation of drawings, art creations, poems, stories, journal entries, oral presentations, math lessons, design and technology projects and more.