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ERIC Number: EJ1115151
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Luminous Lighting: In This STEAM Activity, Students Create Wire Sculptures That Light up
Grinnell, Sandie; Angal, Sharon
Science and Children, v53 n6 p54-59 Feb 2016
In a 2012 blog post, John Maeda discusses the idea that while science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education plays an important role in innovation, limitations exist when we focus exclusively on STEM. Maeda advocates for the addition of the "A" for Art to the acronym, insisting that the arts promote the creativity and ingenuity necessary for economic progress in our nation. Providing students with opportunities in which they can access all the integrated components of STEAM makes sense: STEAM engages students and results in more permanent learning by allowing them to see how the knowledge and skills are developed and applied across content areas. Situated within Oregon's "Silicon Forest" where high-tech industry abounds, Hillsboro School District's Quatama Elementary School educators have prioritized providing these kinds of opportunities for their students. Because Quatama is a designated STEAM school, students regularly experience integrated STEAM lessons, many of which have been developed through partnerships with the Portland Metro STEM Partnership (PMSP) and the Right Brain Initiative. These organizations have supported Quatama throughout the STEAM-transformation process, offering guidance in determining both student and teacher outcomes, establishing partnerships with local STEM and art professionals, and providing professional development opportunities. This article describes how one collaboration emerging from these partnerships resulted in the development of an instructional unit in which wire sculptures were used to reinforce concepts about electrical circuits. As Quatama teachers continue to participate in these types of collaborative opportunities that put the "A" in STEAM, students are benefited as they develop the creativity and persistence needed for learning in STEM subjects. While the process described was originally used with second-grade students, the article includes recommendations about how the unit can be modified to increase the rigor so that it is appropriate for fourth-grade students. A materials list is included for the activity in the instructional unit.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A