Education Update May 2016

Education Update May 2016

Teachers to Create STEAM Lessons after Touring Local Industries

By Melinda Berry-Dreisbach, Public Information Officer
Fayette County Board of Education

STEAM is an educational concept that integrates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with art (the “A” in STEM) to help prepare students for 21st century careers. STEAM is more than teaching the individual subjects. It is the intentional integration of core content with art, inspiring all students to think deeply and develop creative solutions.

The future economic prosperity of the nation is going to rely on a workforce that is well educated in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, and for this reason, much focus in schools has been on STEM initiatives. While an understanding of these subjects is important, STEM is missing several critical components also needed for success in the workforce such as creativity, collaboration, cooperation, and communication, known as the “four C’s.” Adding “art” to STEM addresses these missing components, helping students learn to take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, and embrace collaboration and creativity.

Fayette County Schools has developed a STEAM team that will go to work this summer on developing standards-aligned curriculum resources that will be used by all grade levels throughout the system.

Nearly 80 teachers applied to be part of the 34-member STEAM team. Team members include grade level teachers from elementary, middle and high school, along with teachers in the areas of gifted education, technology, and the arts.

The team will spend June 13 and 14 touring local industries, including TDK, Panasonic, and Fayette Piedmont Hospital, as well as the Atlanta High Museum of Art. Following the tours, on June 15 and 16, the teachers will collaborate in grade-level teams to develop four to six lessons that are STEAM based. The lessons they create will be made available to all school system teachers for the 2016-2017 school year.

Quarterly meetings will take place throughout the year, which will be open to all teachers in the system, to review, revise, and reflect on the materials the team will develop over the summer experience.