Hi everyone, it's Daniel here and I am very excited to get the STEAM room and it's blog started this year. A lot of people, when they look at the STEAM room, ask, "What is STEAM?" or "What happens in the STEAM room?" STEAM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. In the room we explore with lots of different materials in small groups. Working with smaller groups helps the children and me focus on what they are interested in learning, and really encourages the children to communicate and work with each other. Some of the materials we have for the children to use are wood, plastics, metals, electronic parts, natural objects, tools, microscopes, cloths, yarn, art supplies, and more! With these items at their disposal they will be able to create, construct, craft, experiment and explore in an environment where the children can learn and grow from these experiences. I will be using this blog and these posts to give everyone insight into these experiences that the children are having in the STEAM room and other STEAM learning things going on in other classrooms too.
I have been working very hard the past couple weeks moving the STEAM room from it's old location in the Gan space to a bigger, brighter, more open space on the ground floor. You will be able to tell which room it is because the word "STEAM" is in green above the door way. The door is usually open for anyone to pop in and take a look and see what's going on. There will usually be something exciting to look at - whether it's inside the room where there is something children are working on or something left right outside the classroom door for children or anyone else to explore.
One of the main focus and projects the children will be doing this year is to build plant boxes for their classes to use as a vertical garden on the playground. It will be child-directed, with me guiding them to better understand what they are doing and exploring. This will be a great opportunity for the children to be able to interact and watch their plants grow and to be responsible in taking care of them. All of this will begin with the children building their planter boxes late in the winter. By the time we get to this stage, the children should already have an understanding of the tools and materials we have for building and construction through interacting and exploring with all the available materials in the room. After that we will prepare our plants inside and have them starting to grow so we can replant them outside after winter is through. The main goal is for the children to grow some vine vegetables. It will be an experience where they can see, watch, touch, water and hopefully taste the wonderful plants they have created as it grows on the playground. This will be documented and posted on the blog as the children are learning and constructing later on in the year.
The STEAM room is a place for children to explore, but I want it to be understood that it can be used as a resource room for other classes too when I am not available for them. I want it to be a space where other teachers can come to look for materials that they might not have to use for their projects or rooms. This is a communal place for everyone to use and even if you are not part of the school or can't come into the room there are many ways you can help the room flourish. The STEAM room is always looking for recyclable donations. If you would like to help and donate things to the room, please send me an email of what you have to offer. I will accept old broken electronics (Computers, toasters, microwaves, radios, etc), wood (lumber, boards, scrap) for building, big cardboard poster tubes, PVC pipes and things of that nature. The STEAM room is also looking for other recyclable items like, paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, orange crates, rope, clear plastic tubing, glass jars and more. Check the outside of the STEAM room for a list of what is needed or check in with me via email so I am not getting crammed with things the room doesn't need.
I hope everyone is as excited as I am for the year and to see what ideas and thoughts come from the children here in the STEAM room and around the school. Please check back to see new posts of what is happening in the STEAM room and feel free to leave a comment below.