By Katherine Brewer, The Village School
At The Village School, STEAM has been the center of our curriculum since opening in 1966. STEAM abbreviated for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math encourages students to think more broadly and to solve real-world problems with a hands-on approach. By introducing students to STEAM at a young age, it cultivates progress from project-based learning through collaborative exploration, to problem-based learning which focuses on real-world problems, and ultimately to place-based learning where students learn by doing.
There are four reasons STEAM is crucial for student success:
Preparing students for life after graduation
At Village, our role as educators is to inspire students to actively discover and persevere. We work to build a curriculum that is forward-thinking to the future and not resting on conventional tradition from the past. With STEAM integrated into everyday learning, students will be able to enter a variety of different fields with confidence and experience in nontraditional thinking.
Learning across the board
We integrate each aspect of STEAM throughout all grades. From coding for young students to creating a life-size Operation game to building a flood sensor to monitor water levels, there are endless applications. With the diverse range of hands on learning, a STEAM approach allows students to pursue their unique interests and passions.
Offers meaningful collaboration
In most cases, with project based learning comes teamwork. Driving thoughtful dialogue, students can exchange ideas and learn how to divide work, listen to others and encourage their peers. Students learn to evaluate their strengths and skills sets to become a successful team together.
Encouraging versatile thinking
The cross-functional approach to STEAM teaches students to think about the world from every angle. Similar to the projects students work on in class, there are many things to consider before facing a decision. These skills transfer out of the classroom and into everyday life.
STEAM is an opportunity for every child to find their strength. There are many activities families can do at home for children of any age. Engaged learning in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math allows students to create a project they love while teaching valuable lessons along the way.
Katherine Brewer is the Head of School at The Village School in Houston, https://www.nordangliaeducation.com/our-schools/houston/village-school.