STEAM and Discovering Bridges of Jacksonville
by William Jackson, Educator and STEAM Advocate
The ability to bring excitement and passion to children is
through hands on learning and integrating the use of video
in the instructional process. The implementation of hands
on learning along with interactive engagement and passion
allows students to retain information longer and apply to
other areas of knowledge.
We are in a knowledge based century with access to
information from dynamic sources, children need to be
taught to think on levels not prioritized in the past, but how
to solve the problems of the present an future. The same
issues that plague the world in various scales African
nations that are expanding technologically are seeing.
The main one is education, that is the key to not allowing
technological colonization where the citizens are left out
of educational and employment opportunities.
Children, youth and teens of today are dynamic learners
that require attention drawing excitement to encourage
participation and knowledge retention. The learning will come
as children work independently and collaboratively solving
problems. More African nations are realizing this as
they model their STEM and STEAM curriculums like the
STEM, STEAM, STREAM, CSTREAM and STEMsquared
if applied correctly can change the value of learning when
applied to relevancy and reality. STEAM and Discovering
Bridges of Jacksonville was a unique learning opportunity at
Tristian’s Accelerated Academy directed by Arlene Llyod,
educator and STEM advocate in Jacksonville, Florida.
Holding workshops the first and third Saturday of each month
for the past three years Mrs. Llyod has provided the community
with resources that excite learning and offer an interactive
opportunity for children of Jacksonville to be engaged and
excited about learning.
The session for Discovering Bridges of Jacksonville was
provided by William Jackson, educator, blogger, and STEAM
advocate himself involved the children elementary age
in the world of engineering and design. The students watched
and critiqued videos that shows the bridges (7) of Jacksonville,
the date they were built, who they were named after, the length
of each bridge and brief history https://youtu.be/5cX6Q7mfxoU.
Knowledge connections where discussed as the importance
of bridges in connecting cities, communities and families. In
order for children to grasp the concepts and objectives they
must understand how to apply their learning and why it is
important to them. This helps develop critical and higher order
thinking skills. STEM teachers are transformative models of
change and growth for children because they must adapt and
integrate learning to cover multiple areas or should be.
Business and industry leaders in all communities especially
African should take note of what students are learning in
STEAM classes around the world because these are the
future employees, innovators and creators. It is easier to
hire locally than import or outsource jobs to foreign countries.
During the workshop the children eventually were paired in
teams and provided building materials (manipulatives) and where
allowed to build their own bridges. The requirements where;
name their bridge, identify the surrounding environment, where
the bridge would take travelers, how long is the bridge and the
materials for its construction. Students are taught outside of a
book, the integration of multiple resources is necessary to
embrace multi-disciplinary learning that is deliberate and planned.
These criteria allow children to build their learning on a level that
allows them to retain important information and apply to their
levels of understanding and application. Diversifying the access
to information and resources helps each child to enable their
learning modality or how they learn. Each child is different in
the diversity of how they process information, how they apply
information and even how long they retain information.
STEM and STEAM allow for hands on learning that increases
the excitement and passion for learning in children. The
integration of Science Technology Engineering and Math
is growing at phenomenal rates globally because of successes
by the growth in student test scores, the excitement to come to
school and the knowledge that there is something available for
the students that identify themselves as the Geeks, Nerds, Blerds
and Bleeks of schools.
“STEM innovation will open doors for students of color and culture.”
The future of STEM education | Roni Ellington | TEDxBaltimore
Africa Depends on STEM Education
What STEM Can Do for Education
STEM Motivational Video
Introduction to STEM | Elementary
Why Is STEM Important?
Interview – STEM and Kids
STEM and The Black Woman