"Next" Magazine Vol. 3 Fall 2016 - Page 24

STEAM Academy students collaborate in project-based learning. Photo by Justin Bathon skills to succeed in whatever endeavors they pursue. A student who is engaged in sharpening life skills, not just academic competence, while still in high school is more likely to succeed in college and careers,” said Dr. Justin Bathon, an associate professor in the college’s Department of Educational Leadership Studies and director of Innovative School Models.  Dr. Laurie Henry, associate professor of literacy in the College of Education, was on the initial advisory group for STEAM. She works with the STEAM instructors to help with curriculum mapping and designing project-based instruction for design challenges the students will be doing.  “We’re really looking at how schools can be very community based and help students understand the community they’re learning in,” Henry said. “Having students go out into the community and learn more about the development projects going on, and connecting that back to the curriculum in the school is one of the big elements of this.” UK College of Education Dean Mary John O’Hair says the STEAM Academy accelerates learning and opportunities not just for the students, but all entities involved.  “From the UK perspective, it helps us connect 24 | Photo by Amanda Nelson STEAM Academy students helped to welcome new College of Education students during K-Week (orientation week at UK) in August 2015. the theory and practice that we talk about in our classrooms to the real world. With the schools and the community, it’s an opportunity for them to have the latest research and turn that research into innovation — into their daily practices and into benefits for the community. It is rare to find a university, school district and community working together in this kind of collaboration.”