Getting students to play outside in Alaska is a major focus at STrEaM Academy, a charter school that focuses on STEM subjects while reinforcing the importance of experiences and the natural world.
A dozen eight graders walked through the Arnold L. Muldoon Park, stopping at exercise stations, talking and running. After an early morning of classroom activity the outdoor experience felt good, despite being wet from rain.
A cornerstone of the Anchorage STrEaM Academy is outdoor exploration. It is a public charter school housed on the first floor of Wayland Baptist University. The charter school uses the classrooms in the daytime, and Wayland holds classes in the evening. Principal Adam Mokelke has a whiteboard in his office, with a picture of a globe and the phrase “Explorers Wanted.”
“Kids need to learn by doing and learn hands-on, and kids need to get outdoors. This is Alaska,” said Mokelke, a former principal at the Lake and Peninsula School District.
The students will focus on science, technology, engineering, and math, as shown by the capitalization in the school name. The lowercase letters stand for research and the arts.