Alright – let’s dive right in! When we first got started, the only knowledge we had of utilizing a STEAM station in the classroom, was what we read. We were a bit nervous at first because the task seemed daunting and oh…we had ZERO space for all of the things we thought we needed! What we discovered, however, was that the setup was much easier than we had anticipated. We each chose a corner in our classrooms devoted to creating. Laura’s was called “Tinker Town” and Jess called hers “Imagination Station.” We filled it with things we already had in the classroom. We basically searched for easily manipulated recyclable items to put in bins (ie. q-tips, cotton balls, yarn, pipe cleaners, paper towel rolls, cardboard, tape, etc.) Our STEAM stations became the perfect place to house those extra odds and ends we always saved in our closets because we would “need it someday.”
We knew we wanted the creating to be authentic, so we decided that each STEAM activity would connect to a piece of literature. We started simple.
At the beginning of the year, we read “Recess Queen” by Alexis O’Neill. After diving into the book with thinking maps, thinking routines and writing our own class books, Our first STEAM challenge was to create a crown that will fit on your head using pipe cleaners. We gave each student five pipe cleaners and let them get to work. Their creations were both amazing and adorable. We knew we were on the right track! It was the perfect introduction to get the creative juices flowing in our classrooms!
Soon after that, we introduced the design process and began showing our students how to layout their thoughts, ideate, plan and create and most importantly, reflect!
We saw excitement, engagement, persistence, and a palpable feeling of enthusiasm. As our favorite pirate says…
Thanks so much for reading our second blog post! We are truly excited to share our ideas, successes, failures and passions with you! Stay tuned for our next “Full STEAM Ahead Friday” activity where we will continue our journey of creating, exploring, and innovating!
Jess and Laura
Today’s inspiring thought to ponder:::