SPOTLIGHT ON STEAM
What is STEAM Education and Why are we Exploring it in SFUSD? STEAM is the purposeful integration of the Artistic practices and content (Visual, Media, Performing, Literary) into the teaching, learning and assessment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Why, as a 21st century educator, should I be interested in STEAM?
A STEAM approach allows and challenges us to:
- Develop habits of mind that inspire students to think critically and creatively to solve real-world problems.
- Engage students from preschool through college in inquiry-based learning.
- Excite students about pursuing STEM careers by integrating technology, art and engineering into existing science and mathematics curriculum while developing technical and personal skills.
- Prepare students for real life challenges by providing opportunities to ask questions, collaborate, communicate, and critique through core standards, including the Arts.
- Develop teaching methods to improve student engagement, understanding and application of content knowledge from a multidisciplinary, reality-based perspective.
- Emphasize the wonder of art and science as human endeavors.
So, what does STEAM look like here in SFUSD?
Here are a few examples of the work, investigations, creativity, and play happening in our district:
- At Herbert Hoover Middle School, STEAM teacher Jacob Aringo’s classes designed “Mighty Towers” - earthquake resistant structures out of tetrahedrons. They also created Rube Goldberg Machines, online games and actual miniature amusement parks.
- At Abraham Lincoln High School & Thurgood Marshall High School, Physics teachers Greg Calac and Helen Lee had students demonstrate and apply their understanding of resonance and sound waves by creating their own musical instruments.
- At Paul Revere K-8, Cynthia Vasquez, guided her pre-K students in an exploration of “Things That Roll (or don’t roll)” by physical investigations, song, marble paintings and story-telling.
In addition, the Arts Integration Specialist, Kim Campisano, works through the STEM - Science team in collaboration with various departments of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction (VAPA, Multilingual, STEM, ELA/Humanities) to identify or develop following Strategies and Structures:
- Interdisciplinary instructional frameworks that support authentic learning experiences for all students.
- Study Groups and Unit Design around Topics, Themes and/or Practices that overlap Subjects and Disciplines and that are relevant to more than one discipline.
- (Patterns, Observations, Scale, Cause and Effect, Argumentation & Reasoning, Sketching, Notebooking, etc.) Ongoing Authentic Assessments with embedded rich academic discourse.
- Model Sites (E.S., M.S., H.S.), whose specific structures, demands, and opportunities might help us to adapt and scale up in the future.
- Input on revision of Math Project Units and development of Science Core Curriculum as well as other immersive learning experiences.
- Career exploration and partnerships with community organizations and agencies.
- Support and share best STEAM practices.
Find out more by contacting Kim Campisano or via the following resources: