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Leveraging the Team in STEAM: Constructing a Cross-Curricular Hudson River Study

[Participate and share : Poster]

Tuesday, June 28, 10:30 am–12:30 pm
CCC Lobby D, Table 12

favoritesCatherine Cheo-Isaacs  favoritesKaren Johnson  favoritesCourtney Krings  
STEAM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, the topic of many educational and industry conversations. Learn how a group of multitalented educators leveraged their "STEAMy" passions to transform a traditional science/social studies unit into a true cross-curricular experience for their students.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, PC, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project, problem and challenge based learning
Grade level: 3-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: Teachers : Model digital age work and learning
Teachers : Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity

Digital tote resources
Description: Presentation URL

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

We believe that the collaboration of educators on comprehensive units is a more effective strategy to implement STEAM, rather than teaching concepts in isolation.
S is for Science: The Hudson River study is a traditional science and social studies unit for third grade students at Trevor Day School. The theme of the river as a “commons” ties in with a theme that students revisited during all their years at Trevor Day School. Students learn about the parts of the river, geography of rivers, map skills and the river as a system. They also learn about the river as a habit for various animals, food chains, and the importance of water quality.
T is for Technology: The students created a virtual tour of the Hudson River along Manhattan, similar to a “Google Street View”. When they visited the Hudson River during year with their families, they were asked to take a panoramic of the river and note the location. Over the course of the unit, photographs, panoramas, and videos were compiled into a to an interactive scale model of the river using Aurasma. Some students also chose to develop a mobile app for the year long project with MAD-learn.
E is for Engineering: Students were posed with the possibility of building an additional crossing into Manhattan. Students worked together to decide where the crossing would be, the kind of crossing that would be built (bridge, tunnel), and designed a model from materials of their choice. Models were tested for stability after being built.
A is for Art: Students visited the river on several occasions to record their observations. Art teachers accompanied the students on their field trips to introduce sketching, and water colors. Artwork was added to the river model with Aurasma.
M is for Math: The math specialist helped the students work with data, such as water quality, measurements, and other data collected over time. He also brought his passion for fishing during the fish study portion of the unit.


Project- traditional science/social studies year-long unit
Players- classroom, art, library, math, and technology specialists
Results- cross curricular unit of study created collaboratively; passions of all educators evident to the students; global connections made with schools along the river; virtual river project is a product that can be added to over time
Response of students and participating educators

Supporting research



favorites Catherine Cheo-Isaacs, All Access Labs

favorites Karen Johnson, Trevor Day School

favorites Courtney Krings, Trevor Day School