January 26, 2022
11 11 11 AM
How to make a custom shape PCB with Eagle – Open Electronics
Squeal & Scrape – Open Electronics
Decisions, Decisions…Transitioning from Teensy 3.x to Teensy 4.x or MicroMod – News
Science Cameras Bring Thermal Imaging to PCB and Hypersonic Research Alike
JOB: Engineer/Sr Engineer-SST At Qualcomm
Multimedia Box Multimedia with Raspberry PI4 – 4GB – Open Electronics
Prescription At Schneider Electric In Mumbai
Smart Musical Bell That Identifies The Person
JOB: Electronic Developer R&D At Siemens In Thane
Women in Tech Are Moving the Needle at Brooklyn-based Tech Lab
Latest Post
How to make a custom shape PCB with Eagle – Open Electronics Squeal & Scrape – Open Electronics Decisions, Decisions…Transitioning from Teensy 3.x to Teensy 4.x or MicroMod – News Science Cameras Bring Thermal Imaging to PCB and Hypersonic Research Alike JOB: Engineer/Sr Engineer-SST At Qualcomm Multimedia Box Multimedia with Raspberry PI4 – 4GB – Open Electronics Prescription At Schneider Electric In Mumbai Smart Musical Bell That Identifies The Person JOB: Electronic Developer R&D At Siemens In Thane Women in Tech Are Moving the Needle at Brooklyn-based Tech Lab
The STEAM Team – engaging students through interactive and immersive learning

The STEAM Team – engaging students through interactive and immersive learning

The STEAM Team – engaging students through interactive and immersive learning

All too often, we consider individual subjects as isolated. Mathematics teachers teach mathematics in classrooms, chemistry teachers teach chemistry in labs, and PE teachers teach sports on the playing field. In school settings, timetable allocations can suggest all subjects are distinct but, in reality, every subject is connected and it is essential students know this if they are to appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of life.

To address this, Dr Odesma Dalrymple, Dr Joi Spencer and Dr Perla Myers of the University of San Diego established the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Team Academy, a week-long summer programme providing middle and high school students with the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning. “We wanted to create a STEAM program that is fun, engaging and challenging, providing opportunities for growth and development through productive struggles,” says Odesma.

Complementing the STEAM Team Academy, they also run the STEAM Youth and Community Conference, to which students’ families, local educators and community members are also invited. “Learning is a social endeavor heavily influenced by the environment in which the learning occurs” explains Joi, which is why it is crucial to engage the whole community in this effort. “Since our focus is on informal learning, we want to facilitate STEAM learning even after students have left the Academy.”

Odesma, Joi and Perla specifically focus on raising the STEAM literacy of students and increasing their ability to see STEAM as an integral part of their everyday lives.

WHAT IS STEAM LITERACY?

In a broad sense, the term STEAM covers science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. But to be ‘STEAM literate’ does not mean that you must excel in every subject. Instead, it requires transferable skills, independent of any one specific domain of subject knowledge.

“This includes an ability to observe carefully and be curious,” explains Perla, “to ask questions, especially ones you can’t immediately answer. And to embrace failure and productive struggle as necessary steps along the path, as they are part of the learning process.” It includes critical thinking and the capacity to understand data presented in various forms. The ability to communicate ideas, through oral stories or drawings, written narratives or movies, is equally important. “We must be empathetic,” says Odesma, “understanding the human element in STEAM and the ways in which our society shapes, and is shaped by, STEAM.”

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Most students who attend the STEAM Team Academy come from communities that are underrepresented in STEM professions. But these communities contain a wealth of knowledge that can be utilised to ignite the spark for continued learning. “We seek ways to engage in explorations of the many assets within these communities,” says Joi.

As rich sources of wisdom and practical knowledge, the communities themselves provide “a starting point for conversations about equity, advocacy and the importance of standing up for social justice and making change,” explains Perla. And by using the students’ own communities as a learning resource, not only do students feel that this education is relevant to their own lived experiences, but they can appreciate how all aspects of their lives are underlain by STEAM concepts.

A visit to Chicano Park provides an opportunity to learn from the community. Situated below a freeway junction in a predominantly Mexican neighbourhood of San Diego, the park is home to the country’s largest collection of outdoor murals. Academy students immerse themselves within this national treasure, experiencing history, marginalisation and inequities with all their senses. They meet artists who work in the park and hear how they create murals on the arches of the very highway that fragments and pollutes their community, and understand how art can be a vehicle for getting their voices heard.

“We have talked to a mural artist who advocates with his art,” says Odesma. “It was wonderful for students to hear how he uses mathematics to create art.” Like many of the students, the artist did not initially consider his work to be mathematical. Yet, the ability to scale a plan from a small piece of paper to the size of a large mural and represent three-dimensional shapes in two dimensions show how mathematics and art are interrelated. “There is so much mathematical richness embedded in the art he has developed and perfected throughout his life.”

Rather than feeling that ‘STEAM’ represents subjects they must study, the Academy teaches how STEAM can answer questions significant to students’ lives. “We want students to appreciate that all the practices they engage in are also examples of STEAM activities,” explains Joi. “These activities are just as important as the STEAM subjects they learn in school.”

UN DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Many discussions at the Academy are based around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly focusing on reducing inequities, which enables students to see themselves in the larger context of global citizenship. “When students read these goals, they see that others around the world are grappling with the same challenges that we face in the US,” explains Joi. They also highlight the huge inequalities that still exist. “Students are surprised that there are still places where girls cannot go to school, or where basic medical care is not available.”

“The Sustainable Development Goals are an opportunity to recognize our collective responsibilities as citizens of the world,” says Joi. “Most importantly, students see how STEAM skills can be applied to the world’s most challenging dilemmas. Gaining STEAM skills is no longer about getting a high paying job, but about addressing these problems. We believe that STEAM should be of service to humanity. That is the message we want our participants to come away with.”

To highlight the concept of inequity, students play Inequity Monopoly, where each player has a different set of rules. Some receive $200 when they pass Go, others do not. Property prices are different for each player. Some can purchase certain properties, others cannot. “At some point in the game, the rules become ‘fair’ again and we continue playing,” says Joi, “but those who had an advantageous start are so far ahead that it’s impossible for those who are behind to catch up. We have important conversations about real-life examples of this, and the implications of these situations.”

SUCCESS

Since its creation in 2015, the STEAM Team Academy has continued to grow. Many students return year after year, proof that this is an enjoyable setting in which to learn. And many students who pass through the Academy return as enrichment facilitators, now leading the activities they once participated in. Sharing the same background as the facilitators allows current students to identify with their near-peer mentors. Former students act as role models, inspiring the next generation to engage in STEAM.

“We witness our students’ growth and maturation,” says Perla. “We see our model of peer mentorship and community immersion actualized in the lives of our students, many of whom are now pursuing STEM majors in college.” “Recently a former student wrote to us, sharing the impact of the program on her first year of college,” says Odesma. “She explained how the idea of Productive Struggle (a concept that we emphasize throughout STEAM Team Academy) helped her in overcoming the difficulties she faced in her STEAM courses. Instead of seeing the challenges as a sign of failure, she was able to see academic struggle as a springboard for deeper thinking and reflection.”

“Our belief is that students have a natural desire to learn. When work is engaging, interest is sustained and deepened,” says Joi. “We have seen our students accomplish amazing things.”

Source by [author_name]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.