STEAM Olympics event provided an opportunity for students, community, and businesses to come together for an evening of hands on, creative learning.
What students learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math during their K-12 schooling shapes their intellectual development, opportunities for future study and work, choices of career, as well as their capacity to make informed decisions about political and civic issues and about their own lives (NRC, 2011). Research supports that now is the time that education needs to undergo a paradigm shift to keep pace with the 21st Century learner. A STEAM approach offers the new learner the connectedness they are already familiar with via technology and helps them make sense of real world applications (Framework, 2012).
Orange Hunt Elementary School delivered on this at its third biennial STEAM Olympics event by providing an opportunity for students, community, and businesses to come together for an evening of hands on, creative learning. These experiences were shaped by intentional, collaborative efforts on the part of the OHES staff, parents, PTA, students, custodial crew and through networking with local affiliates, NOVA SySTEMic, and Apple. Featuring experimentation with Glacier and Ice melting, Fractal Designs, Pendulum Art, Computer Robotics, and Coding to the engineering of ski jumps and halfpipes, the winter Olympic themed “Icy Slopes and Isotopes” STEAM event brought fun, excitement, and engaged learning for the whole family. With more than 400 guests attending, the event proved a great success.
Donna M. Jones is Math Lead/STEAM Coordinator/German Immersion at Orange Hunt Elementary.