The STEAM movement (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) is revolutionizing education across the globe. Using the arts to teach STEM concepts improves outcomes for students
STEAM Learning Energizes Paddington Public School in Sydney
Paddington Public School in Sydney, Australia is making STEAM education an integral part of their elementary curriculum – driving increased student success and engagement.
In a video posted on Paddington Public School’s website, teacher Jeff Johnson details how utilizing STEAM and makerspace projects in the classroom has energized his students and created a learning environment that’s both more engaging and more effective.
At the beginning of each term, Johnson sits down with Paddington’s classroom teachers and reviews the science concepts, curricula and outcomes they plan to implement over the term. Then, he creates STEAM makerspace projects that align with these educational goals. Past projects have centered around topics like renewable and solar energy, challenging students to use their critical thinking, creative and design skills to build their own 3D models for solar cars.
[STEAM] gives us a chance to say what we think and figure it out ourselves rather than it just being told to us.
Students have embraced the hands-on, creative learning that these STEAM makerspace projects offer. One Paddington student commented, “It gives us a chance to say what we think and figure it out ourselves rather than it just being told to us.” Another observed, “Project-based learning has really helped us with our skills and teamwork, and I have loved being able to work toward the goal in STEAM and being able to experience all the fun things and challenges along the way.”
Paddington Public School principal Tania Riley is pleased with the excitement and improved outcomes that STEAM and arts integration are creating. “Our STEAM makerspace initiative has successfully supported students to develop their skills around future-focused learning, particularly in the areas of critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication,” said Riley. “[The] success of this initiative has been evidenced by improved student engagement levels across the school, particularly in our year five and six grades with girls as well as boys.”