Teachers Went Full STEAM Ahead at the Endeavour and Renaissance Schools Professional Development

In the medical world, residents are taught using the mantra: Watch One, Do One, Teach One.  In education, it's not too different!  While teachers often learn through reading articles, blogs, or observing other teachers, there's nothing like a hands-on activity to bring the topic home.  

On Friday, towards the end of our professional development day, we learned about the benefits of STEAM (a unique curriculum that teaches design and problem solving through Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) and its importance as an educational foundation in all of our schools.  Teachers from both our elementary school and middle schools had the opportunity to collaborate on a STEAM challenge: build a boat that could stay afloat with the greatest weight. 

Led by Endeavour math, science, and STEAM teachers, Jen Clark and Ryan Humke, the teacher teams were up for the challenge!  Using aluminum foil, straws, popsicle sticks and tape, they got to work. 

The lesson we all learned? That STEAM teaches outside-the-box thinking, grit, collaboration, innovation, and engineering skills.  We also learned that students had to improve their social and emotional skills while they managed social skills and emotions such as anticipation, excitement, disappointment, and creating the resolve to try again when reflecting on the overall process and outcome. While pulling academic content from areas as far ranging as art to physics, teachers' biggest take-away? STEAM is engaging and fun.  Look for more STEAM displays in our lobby soon!  

Randal, John, and Marcela created an impressive boat with an interesting design.  It held quite a bit of weight before succumbing to its watery end.  Did they win the design challenge?  You'll have to ask them!

Jen Clark and Ryan Humke get ready to test the boats after much work by the teacher teams.

Jen Clark and Ryan Humke get ready to test the boats after much work by the teacher teams.

Danielle and Jocelyn ponder the simplicity of their boat.  Will it work?  You'll have to ask them!

Danielle and Jocelyn ponder the simplicity of their boat.  Will it work?  You'll have to ask them!

Melissa and Laura firmly believe in the power of the triangle.  Will the triangle prevail?

Melissa and Laura firmly believe in the power of the triangle.  Will the triangle prevail?

Theanna and Shannon have high hopes for their design!  

Theanna and Shannon have high hopes for their design!