STEAM Learning in Action
Thomas Edison once said, “to invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk”.
At UISG, we engage and inspire our students around STEAM subjects. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. STEAM sparks an interest and lifelong love of the arts and sciences in children from an early age. At UISG, we foster an inclusive learning environment where all students can engage and contribute. Teaching relevant, in-demand skills like critical thinking, ingenuity and teamwork prepares our students to become innovators in an ever-evolving world is paramount, not only for the future of our students but for the future of the world.
Starting Early :
Through our transdisciplinary and collaborative approaches, STEAM is embedded in lessons from Early Years, enabling them to start to discover real-world solutions to real-world problems. The innovative and hands-on, infusion approach to teaching and learning means that as soon as students enter the Primary years, they start to develop the skills to create some phenomenal solution. This is further enhanced in our Secondary years, with higher-level questioning. By incorporating all components into a lesson, unit or project, STEAM education enhances our programme of inquiry.
LEGO Room (K-Y2) :
The UISG LEGO Makerspace adds value to the current program of inquiry, with curriculum plans from LEGO supporting our PYP educational values. The addition of a LEGO educational program on campus has supplemented our STEAM curriculum using cutting edge educational research from LEGO Education. Playing with LEGO is known to have amazing benefits for the development of fine motor skills, developing dexterity and strength in the fingers which directly supports children in being able to hold a pencil and control the pressure applied when writing. Wolf Cubs can increase their social skills by following instructions, planning what piece comes next, waiting for their turn and listening to others which all takes focus and can help with children who need a little extra help with concentration. PYP Approaches to Learning are supported by the LEGO makerspace with the development of following instructions, deciphering order, understanding quantity, symmetry, patterns, and location of the bricks, helping children develop how to problem solve and come up with new ideas.
Imaginarium and Robotics Room (Y2-Y6) :
The Imaginarium in the Primary School allows students a space where they can combine STEAM-based concepts that would use laser cutters, Cricut machines, hot glue guns, and many additional materials and tools to build projects. The Imaginarium gives students the opportunity for creative, self-directed exploration where students can create, invent, and learn. In the Imaginarium, students have the opportunity to become involved with collaborative, hands-on projects that promote multidisciplinary thinking and learning. Students can tinker, explore, discover, and create new things using various tools and materials. There is a heavy focus on sustainability, reuse, and recycling in this space.
The Innovation Lab currently has robotics for FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Competitions. However, in the future, this space will also include a green screen for animation, video equipment, lighting, circuits, MicroBits, 3D Printer, 3D Pens, and other hands-on types of programming and design.
Having both the Imaginarium and an Innovation Lab allows these students to expand their critical and creative thinking skills and apply them to class projects and local and global competitions. These spaces provide students with hands-on experience using many different tools and technology incorporated into the curriculum and clubs. In addition, these two spaces allow teachers to schedule a time to take the class there to learn about innovation and technology and build those 21st-century life skills to solve global issues.