Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Some Ideas on the A in STEAM... Unorganized Thoughts

I have been thinking about STEM, STEAM, design thinking, maker spaces/labs, coding, robotics, integrating technology... and how this all looks in a TK-8 setting.  I have also been thinking about the A part of STEAM.  I like to describe the A as Creativity instead of Art because it immediately broadens the possibilities.  Below is a collection of random experiences and "finds" that have my thoughts churning...

03/23/15 - District STEM Visit
Our district is in the infancy in the implementation of all the above.  We (a team from AUSD) recently took a field trip to Los Altos School District to see their elementary blended learning in mathematics, STEM/Maker labs, a design thinking challenge (6th grade), Coding/programming (6th grade), and middle school robotics and engineering electives.  It was an eye opening day for the team as to what is possible when integrating and implementing a thoughtful STEM/STEAM program.  Click below to see what we saw on our trip.
Los Altos Site Visit CLICK HERE

03/21/15 - Facebook Find
This incredible woman is a TK-8 art teacher (we went to high school together).  Look at her face, she is glowing and passionate and she is wearing garbage (recyclables).  She put on a "Junk2Funk" event that included a runway show and sculptures, everything produced by her TK-8 students.  Junk2Funk Fashion Show CLICK HERE 
Junk2Funk Video CLICK HERE

03/18/15 - Sierra College Hacker Lab Visit
Our local community college in the Sierra Foothills above Sacramento is opening a Hacker Lab for Placer County.  I had the opportunity to visit an open house with my Superintendent and check the space out.  I also had the opportunity to hear the organizing team speak.

Jennifer Kloczko @jkloczko presented a Pecha Kucha featuring the show "Chopped" at Cuerockstar Petaluma.  I did not get to experience her presentation, however, it got me thinking about "maker" shows that can support and/or influence STEM/STEAM learning.  Here is a beginning list:
  • Chopped - Food Network
  • Project Runway - Lifetime
  • Craft Wars - Family Channel (I think)
  • Flea Market Flip (HGTV)
  • Ink Wars (maybe for older kiddos??)
There are many more "maker" type shows that I am leaving out and will add as I search for more...

So, I am letting these things dance in my brain as I help my district develop a path for STEM/STEAM learning for our students.  I want it to be wide open instead of confining and make it student driven.  There are many foundational structures that need to established and our teachers will need much PD and support as they shift their instruction.  

Please share any and all ideas etc...  I need all of the help I can get!!