STEAM 2.0 to Prepare Taft Students to be Complex Problem Solvers. District Expands Successful STEAM Integrated Curriculum
Redwood City School District’s (RCSD) successful STEAM integrated curriculum will expand to a second elementary school in the 2019-20 school year. The school district is planning to introduce a STEAM program at Taft Community School after first launching the K-5 program three years ago at its first elementary school. STEAM is the integration of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. As we see more technology blended into our daily lives, it’s important for students to understand how different elements of technology work in order for them to be able to use it to solve problems they face in their communities and in the greater world.
But what does a STEAM program look like? At Taft Community School, the school district will start with projects that introduce Making and Literacy. In these lessons, students read books that discuss an engineering mindset, such as perseverance, creative problem solving, or collaboration. After reading the stories, students create projects that can highlight major themes from the book, or that allow students to show an understanding of character development. The Taft community got a taste of the curriculum during a STEAM Literacy night in March. Attendees read the book, The Most Magnificent Thing, about a girl who struggles to build a contraption out of recycled materials. The lesson then engaged students and parents to build their own magnificent things out of motors, batteries, markers, and plastic cups. They ended up creating wobbling scribble machines that sketched lines across big sheets of paper.
A STEAM program is not one thing, but many different things. At Taft, the district is looking forward to building a culture of engineering and creative thinking, to prepare students to tackle the problems our communities face. RCSD teachers will be at the core of this program, using their expertise in reading and writing to integrate elements of STEAM in new and innovating ways.