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Why students need (and love) STEAM

by, Sarah Clark, Arboro Empowerment Coach

Mess. Loud. Failure.

Those are 3 words that if you are like me, it immediately stresses us out! When I first started teaching, I always felt so self-conscious when people came into my classroom and the kids were working in groups, loudly talking to their peers and it felt like there were a lot of things happening at once around the room. I thought maybe it appeared I didn’t have any control. When in reality I knew exactly what they were doing. I would quickly feel the need to defend myself and tell the students to lower their voices. The hum and rhythm of the classroom would immediately slow down to hushed whispers and students started working more independently. Sounds like a good thing right? Not so much. As my students were working on their challenge task, where they had to figure out the best method to clean the oil off the bird feather in a real-world simulation, they were on task, collaborating with their peers, celebrating their successes, trying creative strategies, solving problems, learning from their mistakes, and having fun!

  1. Analytical Thinking

  2. Creative Thinking

  3. Resilience, Flexibility, and Agility

STEAM and Innovative activities are CRUCIAL in a child’s development and vital to providing learning experiences.

  • STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

  • Why do we need to intentionally provide opportunities for STEAM and creative tasks?

Creativity is a timeless skill.

  • As new technology develops, problems become more complex, jobs are automated, and new skillsets are needed.

    • Workers have to be creative to benefit from these opportunities!

  • This next generation of students is going to encounter complex problems that are going to require creative and innovative solutions.

Problems are inevitable.

  • When was the last time everything went as perfectly as planned? Chances are you are going to encounter unexpected hiccups.

    • You have to solve problems by coming up with a new way to approach something.

    • How embarrassing would it be if every time something didn’t go our way as adults, we threw ourselves on the floor in a screaming fit?!

  • This art of problem-solving is a valuable skill.

    • STEAM and innovation activities create an encouraging environment for kids to collaborate on a common problem as they learn teamwork and communication skills simultaneously.

Encourage Failure.

The good news is...

  • There are tons of resources out there to facilitate creative tasks at home. Simply Google STEAM activities for kids.

  • You probably already have a TON of great materials already at your fingertips. You can facilitate STEAM activities with legos, blocks, toilet paper rolls, or paper. You name it and you can use it!

One more point

  • When working with your child, resist the urge to just tell them how to do it.

Instead, try asking them- What have you already tried?

Arboro Empowered also offers STEAM classes throughout the week- go online to check it out! Our STEAM classes allow students to go through the Design Thinking process of Ask, Observe, Gather, Design, Test, and Solve with the help of other peers to solve problems and think creatively!

What are some fun STEAM activities you want to try at your house? Comment below with what you’ve tried and what you hope to try soon!

Innovators pictured here are engaged in a problem-solving challenge during STEAM Innovators Class with Ms. Sarah.

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