STEAM

Making Stuff Light Up and Move!

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by Tracy Rudzitis -

My sixth and seventh grade STEAM students immersed themselves in the wonder of electricity this school year. They started out by exploring basic circuits, using blocks that I constructed using the Exploratorium’s ideas from their electricity exploration curriculum

 

The overall learning targets for this unit were:

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STEAM, STEM, and Making

Fellow

by Tracy Rudzitis -

What do these words mean? How are they interpreted by teachers, by administrators, by students, by politicians? 

 

In the past few months I have been a part of a number of discussions surrounding this question. The conversations are genuine and in most cases have the best interests of students and learning in mind. There is one thing that I have noticed, there can be a wide range of perspectives and responses to these questions.

 

Where the circle overlaps, thinking about the "A" in STEAM

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by Erin Riley -

I have been thinking about STEAM. STEAM supporters believe STEM should be updated to include creativity, innovation and aesthetics. Are we thinking of this like a Venn diagram, merging form (from the artistic side) to function (from the scientific side) or an extra component to add to the mix, enhancing work in STEM?  Either way, arts are valued as the components that “round out” the technical.

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Drawing: a visual language for Makers

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by Erin Riley -

Drawing is like writing, using pictures instead of words.  It is a form of communication that can be useful, expressive, descriptive and observational.  It provides form to visual ideas.  Including drawing as part of the process of making things is fun and provides a good framework for understanding 2D and 3D design.  

Enclosed is a list of drawing approaches that are used most in the Engineering and Design lab.

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The power of Making what you can Imagine

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by Erin Riley -

Several years ago while while teaching an upper level drawing class I noticed that some of my students were struggling to understand 3D space on the 2D drawing plane.  In an effort to help these and future students, I reimagined a way of keeping track of studio projects based on where they might be organized by their 2D-3D “ness” on a spectrum, and identifying the sorts of visualization that would be involved as they cross into other spatial forms.

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STEAM, de Trojan Horse for Making ”Inclusivity”

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by Christa Flores -

Toy companies riding the wave of interest to close the gender gap in STEM have seen some success in sales, but simply adding storylines, and product lines which “feature girls in settings including a shopping mall, a beach house, and a pet salon” feel bereft of the kind of substantive changed needed. Getting more women to participate in the creation, versus consumption of their lives, through STEM careers is a conversation that can be easily lost in arguments for economic success.

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