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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

STEAM Pathways - A Philosophy For Deeper Learning | Coronado Eagle and Journal

Photo: Karl Mueller
"“STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) has become a bit of a buzzword in education discussions. In the constant use, we often fail to appreciate that it’s more than an acronym." summarizes Karl Mueller, CUSD Superintendent.
Photo: Clipart Kid

To our team at CUSD, STEAM lives on as a philosophy to guide deeper and more impactful learning.

We apply STEAM as a method of instruction where students use hands-on learning to engage with the content in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. It starts with incorporating hands-on applications in our elementary school and grows to create entire courses designed around modern application and critical thought in high school.

At the core of all of our instruction, we create an environment of active learning. Rather than mildly presenting topics and expecting students to regurgitate materials, we give them a foundational understanding. From there we challenge them to think critically about how to apply this knowledge in beneficial situations. Situations, we might add, designed to mimic real-world applications.

Then students work on these challenges in groups, mirroring a company setting. From there, they brainstorm, design, build, test, and problem solve to complete the challenge. Through application, and subsequent trial and error, students gain a better understanding and appreciation of concepts taught.

This process looks different at every school that implements it. This is because at the helm of designing interactive curriculum are our teachers. After all, they are the experts. Our teaching team works to deliver the content in a manner to build a relationship with students, sparking the student’s interest. From there, students take the information to apply to problem solving. It gives them the ability to lead in their education.  

In truth, it pairs perfectly with our personalized learning approach.

To showcase what this look like in application, we connected with Coronado High School Assistant Principal Shane Schmeichel who oversees our Career Technical Education (CTE). While we weave this STEAM philosophy throughout all of our grades and classes, the CTE courses epitomize the fullest extent of the application.
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Additional resources
STEAM fields - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Coronado Eagle and Journal