National STEAM Day

National STEAM Day: November 8th, 2021

Every November 8, National STEAM Day is celebrated!

Carbon Valley Academy is a K-8 Tuition-Free charter school with a STEAM-based curriculum, Located in Frederick, Colorado. Through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, we engage our students in grades K-8 with the integration of Problem-Based Learning and Hands-on Learning. What does it mean and why is it different from STEM?

STEAM is an educational discipline that aims to spark an interest and lifelong love of the arts and sciences in students from an early age. While STEM seeks to teach pragmatic mathematical, coding, and scientific subject matter, the arts are often overlooked, even though they’re critical in the learning process. Teaching relevant, in-demand skills that will prepare students to become innovators in an ever-evolving world is paramount, not only for the future of the students themselves but for the future of the country. 

This day inspires students to explore and pursue their interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, as we do every day at Carbon Valley Academy inside and outside the classrooms.

Carbon Valley Academy students enjoy our curriculum-based activities inside and outside the classroom

History of STEAM

We surely know how to integrate it into our classrooms, but do you know the history behind our curriculum?. Our programs foster creativity and innovation through science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics into one integrated system, and creativity plays a key role in STEAM Education. Carbon Valley Academy teachers make sure every student follows their example, encouraging kids to unleash their creativity by combining their knowledge and skills.

In the 1990s, schools wanted to provide students with more access to science, technology, engineering, and math. The goal of the STEM initiative was to better prepare kids for the future. In other words, they needed more in-depth knowledge of those subjects, plus the ability to integrate them and to apply that knowledge to solve the challenges facing our nation.

The term STEAM was coined by the Rhode Island School of Design and is now used in a wide variety of settings. The goal of Carbon Valley Academy’s curriculum is to integrate the arts with the other disciplines. Our programs foster creativity and innovation into one integrated system, and creativity plays a key role in STEAM Education. 

Benefits of STEAM

STEM and STEAM are working toward the same goals. STEAM is just STEM taken one step further, with additional emphasis given to developing students’ soft skills and marrying the arts and science together.

  • Exposes students to the creative process: When students engage in activities that combine different elements of STEAM, they experience guided inquiry in which they must ask thoughtful questions, discover answers, apply what they learn, and problem-solve creatively. 

  • Offers meaningful collaboration: Many projects involve teamwork and thoughtful dialogue in which students exchange ideas and discuss ways to problem-solve. Through these activities, students learn how to divide up responsibilities, compromise, listen to and encourage each other. Further strategically placing students together in groups can create powerful teams in which students learn how to help each other and figure out how to use their different strengths and skillsets. 

  • Increases critical thinking: Students have to systematically think through problems, applying the information they learn along the way about technology and engineering to figure out the best solutions. Cross-curricular projects also engage different parts of students’ brains so that they are seeing the project through different lenses, focusing on details while also learning to step back and look at the bigger picture.

  • Provides a unique way to problem-solve: CVA’s curriculum gives students a chance to problem-solve in unique ways because they’re forced to use a variety of methods to solve problems that pop up during these types of activities. By experiencing trial and error, learning how to take risks, and figuring out how to really “think outside the box”, they must solve problems in more creative, non-linear ways.

  • Encourages girls to explore STEM fields: Since girls and women are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, developing STEAM projects helps girls become familiar with these fields at an early age. Early exposure can increase their chances of exploring these fields further as they get older, and high-quality STEAM projects will still benefit boys as well so that all students are able to acquire these 21st-century skills.

  • Shows them a different way to value the arts: Using art in STEAM projects helps students understand how varied the arts are, and how they’re an integral part of products that involve engineering, technology, and mathematics. Students can connect artistic mediums that they enjoy (like visual arts) with more technical projects that may seem daunting at first. They’re able to combine the familiar with the unfamiliar, acquire new skills, and discover the world of artistic innovation.

  • Gives all students hands-on learning experiences: STEAM projects give students a chance to engage in hands-on, experiential learning. Students are often using different materials and tools to discover how something works, how to build it, and how to fix it.

With the STEAM learning approach, education produces a whole host of benefits, such as developing soft skills (creativity, problem-solving, collaboration), increasing engagement and motivation, and personalizing the learning experience.

Let’s celebrate National STEAM Day together!. Send us your pictures to cva@edupix.org and we’ll be displaying them on social media.