What is a STEAM school?

STEM is an acronym for the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. At Elizabeth Buckley School, we believe that the arts are an integral part of every child’s learning, and we have added the “a” to create STEaM. By “arts” we mean Visual Arts, Music, Dramatic Play, social responsibility, global citizenship and meaningful contributions in our community.

Our STEaM school provides an emphasis on discovery and exploration, with STEM subjects interwoven with literacy, humanities, and physical activity.

To find out more, check out this video about the inclusion of STEaM in our classes.

Why STEaM?

Children are born scientists. They spend the first few years of their lives observing, experimenting, trying, failing, and trying again. The result is incredible development in the areas of language, perception, and problem-solving. When children enter a traditional school program, the focus often shifts away from independent thinking, problem-solving, and experiential learning in context to paper-and-pencil tasks that focus on finding the “right” answer. This inhibits risk-taking and independent thinking because children don’t want to be “wrong.” Children who are taught concepts in isolation find it difficult to engage in learning because they don’t see the relevance to their own lives. They learn “procedures” for skills like math, but don’t recognize how to apply them in real-world situations. The result is that many children find math intimidating, eventually dismissing the subject because they don’t consider themselves a “math person.” And this is often accepted. However, we would not accept if our children said the same about reading! With our increasing reliance on technology, technical literacy, critical thinking and the ability to problem-solve are skills that play a crucial role in a child’s long-term success. The most effective way to develop these skills is to engage children in real-world activities that allow them to build their understanding in meaningful contexts. The children love this type of learning and… (sshh!) often don’t see it as work!

Enter STEaM…

We use STEaM in every part of our lives. It surrounds us in technology like WIFI, smart phones, and GPS systems for our cars. It helps us in daily activities like microwaving our meals, Googling concepts to help our children with their homework, and understanding feats of engineering. In addition, STEaM helps students learn how to be responsible citizens by contributing meaningfully to relationships with our elders, with people of all abilities, and with different cultures as we come together in the pursuit of education and community. STEaM lends itself to this and other elements of responsible stewardship, such as caring for the environment in activities such as growing our own food, recycling, and using found objects in the creation of art projects.

Our STEaM school provides an emphasis on discovery and exploration, with STEM subjects interwoven with literacy, humanities, and physical activity.