Elementary school students are heading forward full STEAM into art and history lessons, thanks to a partnership which created the  STEAMing into History program for Alabama students.

R.E. Thompson elementary students spent a morning at Tuscumbia Depot enjoying the program coordinated by the Tuscumbia Parks and Recreation Department and the University of North Alabama’s departments of elementary education, geography and AMSTI. Activities included mapping, coding, art, and living history.

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UNA assistant professor of elementary education Lorie Johnson said that the program offers great opportunities for elementary education students to develop lessons on local history.

“This has all the components of STEM education with science, technology, engineering and math, but we added the A for art,” she said. “It’s fun and exciting for the elementary students and it gives our education students the opportunity to think creatively with their lessons and really engage with the students.”

The Depot provided the perfect location for one of the learning stations from the Shoals Model Railroaders Club, where students viewed model trains and an authentic replica of the Tuscumbia landscape. “The students seem to enjoy it and they ask good questions,” said Tuscumbia Parks and Recreation Director Joel Kendrick, as he demonstrated how a small model steam engine and how the parts worked. “This program is a great fit for us and the Depot is the perfect location.”

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