Creativity and collaboration are encouraged at a Christian school where a Makerspace lab is part of a STREAM program. STREAM stands for science, technology, religion, engineering, art and math.
While the fifth graders are inside working with buttons, paint, Lincoln logs, recycled cardboard and dry noodles, the third graders are outside shoveling dirt into a garden. They used math to figure out how much dirt they needed. In addition, they have learned about plant life cycles and are about to learn more about nutrition.
“Just in the five minutes we’ve been out here we’ve talked volume and area, we’ve talked perimeter, we’ve talked simple machines,” said Jenna Melton, third-grade teacher. “It makes it real. It’s no longer just a book telling them knowledge. They’re gaining it from their real life experience.”
All disciplines working together in a hands on learning process is the hallmark of the STREAM program. Teachers collaborate on units, meeting weekly. Students work together to solve problems, instead of looking to the teacher for answers.
“The critical thinking and the ideas they come up with are amazing,” said STREAM director Deanna Reid. “It hopefully helps to stimulate students to want to go on to a career in science, technology, computers, math.”