STEAM in schools is about so much more than the products districts put into classrooms or offer online. Effective STEAM learning requires a culture and environment that allows students to practice creative problem solving, computational thinking, and other skills vital for entering tomorrow’s workforce. Creating a new learning culture can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are our top 5 tips for supporting STEAM culture in education.
1.) Define what STEAM means
Obviously, STEAM typically refers to science, technology, engineering, art and math. However, when being implemented in lessons, STEAM is also referring to a learning style. Aligning on what STEAM means and looks like in every class will help guide how schools should proceed with lesson planning, measuring success, and even how classrooms 9 both in person and online) are structured.
2.) Decide how success is measured
Like with any other goal or plan, it is important to know how success will be measured. What does the district hope to accomplish by implementing STEAM into the classroom? What are the learning outcomes that teachers want for their students? Of course, standardized tests are part of the ways that success can be measured, but setting up metrics based around a district’s unique curriculum and definition of STEAM will ultimately tell them a lot more about where they are succeeding and where they can still improve.
3.) Create a collaborative space
When thinking about the classroom, think beyond layouts, furniture, LMS, virtual meetings, and seating charts. When creating a truly collaborative space, culture is just as important as set up. Taking steps to make sure that students feel comfortable experimenting, learning from their failures, and trying new ways to solve problems will help get familiar with STEAM learning. Encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas will help to cement concepts like creative problem solving and collaborative learning.
4.) Incorporate STEAM in all areas of the classroom
STEAM learning is strongest when it is reinforced in ALL areas of learning. Creating lesson plans that are connected across curriculum help students to draw connections about the world around them and helps them to strengthen their STEAM Learning skills. To learn more about how to incorporate STEAM in all areas of the classroom, check out our recent blog post!
5.) Make sure schools have the right tools and support
When it comes to tools in the STEAM Classroom, it’s easy to jump immediately into planning for drones, VR headsets, and all kinds of other technology. While those products are exciting ways to launch STEAM in schools, additional products and services may be needed to ensure a successful deployment. For example, how will these devices be stored and charged? What kind of software might help teachers manage this new technology? What tools or programs are available for students at home? Would teachers benefit from having professional development training or access to online curriculum?
Supporting STEAM culture in the schools can make a huge difference in the success of districts latest technology deployment. While creating a new learning culture can sound daunting, it certainly doesn’t have to be! To learn more about what tools are out there to support STEAM culture, reach out to your preferred Education Reseller or Douglas Stewart Account Manager.
What products do you think could help schools and districts support their STEAM Culture? Let us know in the comments!