STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math)
We provide Ephesus Elementary students with an assortment of STEAM. learning opportunities throughout the curriculum and special events. These help us support students as they grow in the ISTE standards for students. Students in the primary elementary grades (K-1) use iPads to supplement curriculum and instruction. Our second grade students are using a touch-screen Chromebook as a transitional device. Students in upper elementary grades (3-5) are using regular Chromebooks.
What’s with the A in STEAM?
Research in cognitive and social neuroscience shows that arts activities enhance creativity, problem solving, memory systems, and analytical skills - all critical for STEM success (Sousa & Pilecki, 2013).
Mirroring our school district’s focus on the growth mindset, at Ephesus we believe that all students have the ability to increase their intelligence through purposeful and sustained effort.
We also believe that as 21st century teachers, we have the responsibility to provide our students with authentic, embedded learning opportunities that will prepare them for the future. Through STEAM integration at EES, we hope to harness the creative energy of our students through innovative teaching and authentic project-based learning while providing all learners the opportunity to stretch their thinking.
To prepare and inspire ALL Ephesus students to meet the challenges of our ever-changing global society through applied critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration and communication.
To harness the creative energy of our students through innovative teaching and authentic project-based learning while providing all learners the opportunity to stretch their thinking. STEAM integration will increase student engagement, raise motivation, focus on relevant issues and develop in students the ability to plan, design, reflect and adapt.
Goals of Our STEAM Initiative
- Provide the tools and space for creativity, exploration and invention
- Foster a culture of inquiry among students and teachers
- Emphasize connections in the fields of math, science, technology and engineering through integrated studies and investigations
- Meaningfully integrate technology
- Engage students in the engineering design process
- Make explicit connections with local universities, Ephesus parents/community members and businesses to link student and teacher learning with current practice
The Ephesus STEAM Team...A Bit of Background
In February 2013, a team of teachers from Ephesus Elementary headed to the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) in Cullowhee, NC. They wrote a Research & Development proposal titled, Full STEAM Ahead: Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics Through Project-based Learning Opportunities. During their time at NCCAT, this team reviewed research on STEAM in elementary schools, designed a framework for integration at Ephesus and created enrichment extension opportunities for our diverse group of students based on the STEAM principles. Their work incorporates the researched-based Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol Model (SIOP) as a framework for planning in order to reach all of our learners including our ESL, EC and other populations.
Read more about the "maker movement" and it's impact on teaching and learning at this link to Edutopia.
Hour of Code
"Computer science is more than just coding. Thinking like a computer scientist involves being creative and thinking collaboratively about a problem in order to solve it." (ISTE, 2017). We continue to celebrate with the world during Computer Science Education Week.
Roadrunners at Ephesus Elementary have been participating in Hour of Code™ for many years. We no longer have to wait until December to integrate computational thinking and computer science skills in our classrooms, especially now that each student has access to a digital learning device every day.
Each grade level incorporates a form of coding application into the classroom, building on the skills from the previous year supporting the ISTE Student standard 5: Computational Thinker to solve challenges.
The progression moves from directing actions with symbols to visual block programming. Students may "level up" to other apps based on individual skill level.