In Rachel Hodge’s seventh grade science class at River Bend Middle School, students are STEAMing ahead on the first day of school using their math and problem solving skills to complete a project building towers with marshmallows and toothpicks. They were racing to see who could build the tallest tower.
The activity that Hodges was involving her students in is part of STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math.) STEAM focuses on project based learning, and adds arts education to the curriculum.
The subjects are tied together in an interdisciplinary fashion and are adaptable to the changing world we live in. There are three STEAM academies planned for Catawba County Schools. Among the concerns are the impact of taking students away from regular public schools to participate in the STEAM academies.
The Catawba County Schools’ (CCS) Innovative Schools Task Force faces several major challenges: personnel, student selection, professional development, and the overall implementation timeline. Finding personnel is the first consideration, and positions will be filled internally.
“They are internal because they will be a readjustment of personnel rather than hiring additional people,” said CCS Director of Student Services Maria Ballard Ballard.