STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century! (http://educationcloset.com/steam/what-is-steam/)
We are beginning a series of STEAM rotations today. We will complete three days of rotations, change team members, and repeat. This will happen for the next 4 weeks in order to get my students through all of the chain reactions and gadgets I have available.
Objective and Lesson Frame:
- We will work through STEAM activities in an effort to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.
- I will work take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process.
Rotation 1: Lego Chain Reactions
- Design and build amazing moving machines. In a chain reaction, one thing leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another, and so on. Students will use Essential Lego Elements along with ordinary Lego bricks to build awesome machines that can be combined to make dozens of different chain reactions that use many steps to do a whole lot of nothing!
Rotation 2: littleBits Gizmos and Gadgets
- Students will use littleBits to create (from a guide), play with the creation to see how well it works and to look for ways to improve it, remix to improve on what was created or to discover new ways to use the invention, and explore what others have created, as well as, sharing their own inventions.
Rotation 3: Coding
Computational thinking If you want to command a computer, then you have to speak and think like it. That’s called computational thinking, and it requires multiple skills.
Logic abilities and Problem Solving If something is true about coding is that a problem can have hundreds of solutions, from the worst to the best possible ones. Small programs can be way complex. Just introduce a bunch of variables, loops and coditions, and the cyclomatic complexity can rocket
Empowering If you aren’t satisfied or you just can’t find the solution you need, you are empowered to develop yours. Moreover, you can code, debug and execute it online, and even share it with others.
Engagement Students get really engaged, and feel their creations as their own, putting all the effort in the coding task.
Transversality A good thing about coding is that it is a transversal subject. Once you have learned the basis and started writing lines of code you can solve a variety of problems from other subjects.