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Bringing STEAM to the Classroom
Thursday, January 16, 2020
The Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC) and the Enrichment Resource Center have teamed up in the 2019-2020 school year to create a new program - STEAM Fusion! This program is designed to assist educators in bringing more STEAM activities to the classroom by assisting in the implementation of technologies presented in a series of professional development workshops.
The program begins with a professional development day presented by NEATEC when educators get to explore and work with new technologies such as the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino that can be applied to a wide variety of lesson plans and curriculum. Then educators implement what they’ve learned into their classroom through a 10-week, 2-hours a week program working alongside a STEAM Fusion Coach from the WSWHE BOCES Enrichment Resource Center.
NEATEC provides classroom technology kits that include all the technical equipment. The Enrichment Resource Center provides lesson plans, presentation materials, supporting documents and the STEAM Fusion coach. The main focus is the use of the Raspberry Pi which is a credit card sized, tiny computer controller that can be coded for a variety of uses.
Library Media Specialists from Greenfield Elementary and Caroline Street Elementary School partnering with Ellen Franklin-Furgason, the STEAM Fusion coach, have been using the program with their 5th grade Young Scholars program. In December they held a Raspberry Pi Fair to showcase the STEAM activities their students created.
“The kids have really taken to it,“ said Maureen Mooney, the library media specialist at Caroline Street Elementary School. “It is versatile. They can do everything from making music, to creating stop motion animation and graphic design. It is not something that kids see every day, which is one of the reasons I wanted to bring it to them, and give them time to really work and play with it so they could experience how circuits work,” said Mooney.
At the fair students displayed Sonic Pi which they coded to play music and graphic designs which they created using Python code. Some students created a snowman using control circuits and others made videos with their own stop-motion animation rig with a button and a Raspberry Pi camera.
Maureen Mooney said she was pleased to see the students working together and problem solving. “It is also fun to see the Raspberry Pi it in different disciplines - art, music, movies. They can take this and use it somewhere else too.”
Fifth grade students, Katie Oak and Jo Jo Birnby said they “like coding, its cool because you can make a picture and make it do whatever you want.”
Valentina Henal and Olivia Zimmerman used a tiny camera controlled with a tiny button to create stop motion animation. Anderson DeBow and Mathew Hayes took a song they learned in band and coded the Sonic Pi to create their own version of the music.
Andrea DeBow, who attended the fair said, “I think it is amazing.” She said that her son, Anderson, has loved everything about the Young Scholars program. “He is a kid that likes to be challenged with things that engage his mind.”
The Enrichment Resource Center is looking forward to assisting more schools in bringing STEAM Fusion into the classroom. For additional information click here or contact Carrie VanTassel, ERC Program Manager, 581-581-3581.
Valentina Henal and Olivia Zimmerman demonstrate stop motion animation.
Mathew Hayes and Anderson DeBow show Anderson's dad how they used the Raspberry Pi to create music.