STEAM stands for the 5 pillars of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and the ARTS.
It is a method of teaching and learning that intertwines these disciplines in a hands-on, active and discovery led way and is engaging, fun and rewarding for children. Research has shown that children learn more from doing, exploring and problem-solving. In a successful STEAM lesson or project, the subjects are not taught in isolation, but in an integrated manner with a focus on skills development. STEAM is becoming more and more prevalent in schools and being discussed more and more in the media, as it is widely acknowledged that in order to prepare our children for the future workforce,we need a focus on skills development in these areas, rather than simply imparting knowledge to children.
STEAM builds problem solvers, critical thinkers, good collaborators, good decision makers who can evaluate different possible solutions to problems and select the most appropriate solution. The workers of the future need to be able to develop new solutions to existing and new problems that we don’t even know of yet. Our lessons need to be multi-dimensional, to address real life problems,have hands on experience, allow children to have experience of trial and error where they learn to try things out, accept ‘failure’ as part of the learning process.
What STEAM looks like at Clarecastle National School :
At Clarecastle National School all students shall participate in STEAM education.
Classes will utilise technology in the form of ipads, lego We do kits, sphero robotic ball, beebots and accessories to support same. A timetable identifies when each class has their STEAM allocation with the above resources.
Classes will also participate in activities to support special weeks in the line of Maths week, Engineering Week, Technology Week and Science Week.
Children from 4th, 5th and 6th class will be given the opportunity to engage in the National Intel Mini Scientist award.
Children will engage with KNEX to support the visual art process of STEAM.
Clarecastle National School will apply for the D.P.S.M. STEM of excellence award annually.
Finally children from 3rd to 6th class are invited to be part of our Learning squads. See more information below.
Children from 3rd to 6th are invited to become part of a Learning Squad. The whole idea of this is to train children and help them learn about our new purchase of Beebots, Sphero , Lego We do 2.0 and Ipads.
When the Learning Squads are comfortable and have enough knowledge each group will visit a class be it Junior Infants for Beebots or 6th class for Lego We do, to impart their knowledge and help the children in each class get started on the various pieces of equipment.
This is a huge opportunity for children to not just learn about coding and technology but to develop leadership skills and collaboration skills also.Currently there is a group of 18 children in the Learning Squad which takes place on Mondays from 3-4p.m. in the school hall. Due to the high interest and demand to be part of these squads we will rotate the groups every 6 weeks.