The Power of STEM and STEAM
This is a multi-part Blog sharing the collaborative
power and cooperative connection of STEM and
STEAM learning. As a Technology and Engineering
teacher at Andrew Robinson Elementary School I
encourage the engagement of cross-curricular
learning and multidisciplinary connection of the
elements of Science Technology Engineering
There is a relevancy with the Arts that cannot be
overlooked making an integration of the creativity
and diversity of the Arts. During my summer
instructional responsibilities an additional S
is used to represent the influence of Sports.
STEAMS is being used as a
complete instructional package for the summer
program TeamUp. This allows for students to
have instructional components along with the
involvement and engagement of Sports.
STEAMS – a summer integration of
learning and fun Teaching at TEAMUP (Northeast
Florida Bridge) students are gaining more of
an understanding of the power and influence of
STEM and STEAM, educational policies and procedures
for teaching children will change. There is a
blurring of individual educational disciplines
as teachers that are compartmentalized in schools
are learning the walls of separation must be
taken down. There is the need for more collaboration,
more incorporation of technology and the changing of
educational standards and benchmarks based just on
assessments and testing. There should be a modification
that embraces technology and other educational
elements that is being found in STEAM.
STEM and STEAM are changing the fundamental
concepts of addressing the learning modalities of
students from Pre-K to the upper levels of higher
education. Careers in industry, science, technology,
R&D, sports and even the military will be based on
students having grasped the concepts of STEAM
Teachers are learning to be facilitators of learning,
Cheryl Grymes, District 1 School Board Member of
Duval County Public Schools stated at a recent
educational forum, “you have to be empowered
to be a visionary implementor.” STEAM educators
are visionary with the direction of their instruction.
Using hands on, project based learning to empower
students for future careers and the knowledge they
will need to make critical decisions for careers that
are not even invented yet.
The value of education can never be undervalued,
parents must understand that they and educators
are “morally encumbered to make the public schools
work” Cheryl Grymes.
Students are learning that not only do they have to
think out of the box; they are creating new boxes that
will have global implications. Students are learning through
STEAM and STEM they are problem solvers, innovators,
engineers and creators.
In the classrooms of our nation teachers and administrators
cannot just teach facts, data, and statistics. The need is for
collaboration, cooperation and the connection of minds
to perform great things. Students cannot afford to say that
they are not good in math or they are not good in science,
they must choose to face these educational challenges as
a challenge to be overcome. Through hands on learning,
learning connections can be created and learning challenges
can be overcome.
STEM and STEAM are a new vehicle that is not just an
afterthought, it is a forward thinking multidisciplinary
and collaborative direction that will help the United
States of America stay in global competition, as a
leader in the areas of STEM and STEAM that other
countries are exposing their youth to in an effort to
out-think, out-create, out-innovate, out-develop and
out do American ingenuity. Our foundation is the
educational system of this country which is still
the best in the world.
As the Engineering and Technology teacher at an elementary
school, our recent visit to University of North Florida
for an Engineering Expo showed through a STEAM competition
that students must adapt their thinking, to be critical
thinkers, engage in higher order thinking and work
together as a team.
Expose students in the elementary environment make the
transition in middle and high school easier. The deviation
from the mentality that girls don’t participate in
science, because they do, boys are not good mathematicians
because they are and technology is more than computer
games and Social Media.
The incorporation of STEAM and STEM does not have to be
a challenge, but a welcoming of diverse learning that
creates life-long learners of students who will influence
our economies, educational institutions, careers,
scientific discoveries, engineering construction and
even space exploration.
Using elements of hands on instruction and project based
learning that can be seen in my instruction and other
STEAM/STEM educators in Duval County Public Schools,
students are designing, drawing, building, studying
and creating projects that embrace the whole student.
The value of STEM and STEAM is immeasurable in the
preparation of future leaders of this country.
Events like STEAM competitions at University of North
Florida and Engineering Expo at University of South
Florida and even the Girls Rock S.T.E.A.M Experience
(GRSE) in Jacksonville, Florida bring value and
purpose to STEAM allowing for early and significant
exposure to learning that is continuous and growing
in its application to developing future leaders in
major industries. National Society of Black Engineers
Jr. Chapter, has contributed to Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math (STEM) in Jacksonville, Florida
and the national chapter has had influences to share
STEM and STEAM with schools on a national level
Even Sesame Street has recognized the importance
of STEM and STEAM.
Parents instill an excitement of learning and
understanding in your children learn how and why
STEAM is important to your child’s learning.
Video What is STEAM
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
STEM and STEAM for Black Girls
by Black Girls
President Obama and the Need for Science