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Innovative STEAM Practices Continue to Innovate

While much of the push in the new era of education is centered on STEM concentrations, educators are still finding a way to incorporate the arts: blending the worlds to create what is referred to as "STEAM". Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics aren’t easily associated with art, but schools like the Lewis and Clark Elementary School in Missouri are finding creative ways to make it happen.

“Through a seven-week pilot program infusing miming and acting into their Project Lead the Way Launch lessons, the Lewis and Clark Elementary School students not only became more practiced in their artistic abilities, but used them to build connections with the STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — curriculum,” according to Ryne Dittmer of the Liberty Tribune.

“Organized by KC STEM Alliance and KC Young Audiences, the pilot placed local artist Jay Cady in the classroom as a co-teacher to bridge the STEM and art worlds, known collectively as STEAM, during a biomedical unit on infections.”

Students use the arts to showcase what they have learned in the STEM concentrations. In this case, miming was used during an introductory workshop. The students seemed to take a liking to the practice and they also believe that it helped them learn.

Fifth grader Jocelyn Stanley told the Liberty Tribune that she and her classmates were experiencing a different way of learning altogether. She cited an activity that helped them figure out what kind of learners they are. Throughout the miming activity, Stanley said that most students figured out they were kinesthetic learners.

“One week students acted a scene to trace a spreading illness to ‘Patient Zero,’” according to the report.  

“Another week, the class made commercials explaining the best hand-washing methods after conducting an experiment comparing soaps.”

Cady’s co-teaching method has the goal of leaving teachers with alternative ways to help students learn and showcase that learning by using another discipline's methods or medium. These methods take on a more engaging and enjoyable approach to learning, one that will allow students to add a little more creativity to everyday learning.

Read the full story here.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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