I believe STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education is critical to providing children with opportunities relevant to today's world. Over the past few months the Shaw has been working on finding ways to better prepare Shaw students to excel in science. We have been working to create a school-wide STEAM culture that contains real world problem solving and a connection to careers. Every student is working to develop the following STEAM skills: problem solving, teamwork, technology, and communication. Check out some of the things the Shaw library is doing to create a STEAM culture at the Shaw!
Volunteers from Vertex came and read stories to students. These stories celebrated the positive contributions that African American scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and many more make to society.
New England Aquarium Field Trip
K1 and 1st grade students took a field trip to the New England Aquarium. This was a chance for students to step outside their classroom and apply their learning to real world situations. Our K1 students had been learning about water. On the field trip they were able to see living things and their environment. Our first graders had been studying different species of birds, their habitats, and adaptations. On the field trip students looked specifically at the penguins and made scientific observations. They learned about penguin behavior, adaptations, their habitat, and conservation. Students got to look at penguin feathers up close and meet with the Aquarium guides to ask questions. It gave students a chance to see birds up close and personal!
Dream STEAM! Event
This event had the entire Shaw school working together to promote a culture of STEAM learning. Families were able to visit classrooms and see the fun STEAM learning already happening in classes. Activities ranged from making slime, programming robots, writing in nature journals, making edible amber fossils, and studying the effect of oil spills on bird feathers. In the end, families walked away feeling comfortable encouraging STEAM at home. The event really emphasized how many of our students are already succeeding at using technology, posing questions, and planning out investigations (all parts of the Next Generation Science Standards).
Engineering & Empathy PD
Ms. Donlan, Mr. Connor and I visited the Boston Children’s Museum to participate in an “Engineering & Empathy” professional development opportunity. We were able to think about hands-on ways to help our students become empathic innovators and problem solvers. Through classroom engineering activities, our students can begin to think carefully about the needs of others.
Creating lifelong learners doesn’t just happen, but takes everyone in the community to reach that objective. Prioritizing STEAM is teaching all Shaw students to take risks, make mistakes, and explore new ideas.
Mrs. Keohane is the School Librarian at the P.A. Shaw. She loves hockey, going to the beach, and reading (obviously!)