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Launching STEAM in Junior High
in Junior High
The Junior High has launched its new STEAM Program for grades 7 & 8. This unique spin on STEAM incorporates the combined skills students formerly learned in Family and Consumer Science (FACS), Art and Technology into one course. During the first half of the year, students rotate through three teachers (Ms. Georgiou, Ms. McLam and Mr. Healy), for a series of mini-projects. These projects and team-based experiences expose the students to skills in these course areas and develop both collaboration and teamwork. The second half of the year, the students will be presented with a real-world problem/challenge, divided into teams and asked to utilize these multi-disciplinary skills to construct a solution.
Ms. Georgiou explained, “Currently, we are using hands-on experiences to address the topic of “Consumerism” which is focused on exposing the students to marketing, branding, advertising and nutrition.” Mr. Healy shared, “Students will gain real-life experiences, coupled with student empowerment and personalization.” STEAM students working with Mr. Healy are working on a mini-project that introduces the elements of 3D design and construction. The process involves creating a roadmap or blueprint of their design by hand, learning how to transfer the vision to the computer-aided design software (CAD) and using the 3D printer to create a three-dimensional model. The skills established using this cutting-edge technology are regularly used in engineering labs. STEAM students will apply these skills and pair them with the skills from both Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) and Art as they develop solutions to a team project slated to be launched in January.
In Ms. McLam’s art class, the students are currently creating logo designs using a variety of mediums and innovative thought. Christine Oswald, Art and FACS Department Chairperson shared, “Project-based teaching and learning comes natural to us in Art and FACS. We love a good visual problem, and we welcome ways to take a curveball and weave it in to the problem. It requires acceptance that things may not always work the first time we try something. However, we know the possibilities that come after revising something are endless! I am thrilled that by combining our three disciplines in STEAM (and their countless resources) great things are possible. Our junior high students have a great opportunity having this as an everyday class to formulate a portfolio and THINK BIG!" K-12 Director of STEM, Kimberly Libertini, shared, “We are excited about how this program connects the three disciplines and develops problem-solving, teamwork, presentation and effective communication skills that can be utilized in any career field of the future.” Stay tuned for the STEAM challenge for our junior high STEAM teams to be unveiled in January!