BCS Advantage Magazine Spring 2016 - Page 23

Black Mountain Primary STEAM Lab By Lila Downs, Media Specialist & 2016 Owen District TOY O ver the past two years, the Kiwanis Club’s generous donations of over $50,000 have helped create the keystone of Black Mountain Primary School’s 21st century learning initiative, the STEAM lab. STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math. These new resources exemplify Black Mountain Primary’s belief that education must extend beyond textbooks and standardized testing. Walk into our lab, and you will see our students involved in a variety of activities ranging from robotics, experiential learning, science experiments, green screen, stop motion, Augmented Reality technology, and research. Our STEAM projects are ongoing at Black Mountain Primary, enabling students to build on critical thinking skills as they move through grade levels. Last year, our second grade students were able to tie in literacy skills by creating a stop motion animation movie about a fairy tale. This year, those same students, now third graders, have completed a stop motion movie showing how the Earth rotates and revolves around the Sun. Projects such as these often take more than one class session to complete; therefore, extended time is built into the structure of the lab. This allows for open-ended problem based learning. It also enables students to work at their own pace, which is extremely effective for differentiation of learners and fostering dynamic problem-solving using 21st century skills. Without support from the community, these important learning experiences would not be possible. We are so grateful to the Kiwanis Club and all of our community stakeholders who generously donate money and time so our students can succeed! 22