The Dolphin Echo

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STEAMy Stuff

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STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. STEAM allows students to communicate, collaborate, think critically, and use creativity within any given subject area. This is the second year having a special STEAM committee at GBMS. The teachers on the STEAM committee include Mrs. Erin Tracy, Ms. Laura Titus, Ms. McKenna Wyrosdick, and Ms. Kelly Ratte. 

Ms. Titus, who teaches 7th grade science both advanced and not advanced, has been a STEAM teacher for both of her years at GBMS. She stated that she decided to be a part of the STEAM committee because she graduated from a STEAM program at USF (University of South Florida) and she enjoys learning new strategies. Mrs. Titus thinks STEAM helps her students because, “It’s engaging, and it’s real world.” She learned that students would much rather be working together toward a goal using creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking (the four Cs) than just sitting and taking notes for an entire class period. She uses STEAM in her science classes many ways because, “STEAM is easily integrated into science, because technology, engineering, art, and math, all easily fit within or into our science curriculum,” stated Mrs. Titus. She also explained that she and other STEAM teachers would rather refer to STEAM as Innovate. The STEAM teachers want all teachers to be innovators and allow their students to be innovators and not just include the areas of the STEAM acronym. The STEAM committee tries to take any of their lessons and incorporate the four Cs. Mrs. Titus said, “STEAM isn’t all about projects either, this is a huge misconception. Project after project would not  be sustainable in a classroom. There’s a balance.” 

Ms. Wyrosdick joined the STEAM committee this year and decided to start because she saw the way it was transforming other teachers’ classrooms and how excited students were about the things they were learning. She stated, “As I heard conversation based on STEAM, I felt so inspired by it and knew that I wanted my students to feel that too.” When asked if she thought STEAM helped her students learn, she responded with a definite yes and said, “STEAM is changing the way my students think.” She also said that it requires her students to make connections between several subjects and apply it to the real world. It makes her students apply more and not stop at, “I don’t know!” Ms. Wyrosdick uses STEAM in her L.A. classroom by using communication, and she says, “There is nothing more real world than communication.” Recently her classes have been working on several projects including reading the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. They have been using it to investigate how culture changes. 

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