Picking Up STEAM: Connecting School, Home and Community in STEAM

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Participate and share : Poster

Jennifer Hall  
Richard Taylor  

Learn how STEAM activities in a K-4 school were adapted to include families and the community through use of technology. See how students were able to share their products through photos, videos and online software.

Audience: Principals/head teachers, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Maker activities & programs
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The presentation will discuss how STEAM activities were adapted in a K-4 school to include families and the community through use of technology, and students were able to share their products through photos, videos, and online software, and including during remote learning. We will discuss collaborations with the Corps of Engineers to create engineering challenges for the students through videos, and students were able to meet the engineers during live question and answer sessions to receive feedback. We also collaborated with a local apiary during our gardening activities, and with professional chefs during Kitchen STEAM activities. We will describe our unique learning environment on a military base and the STEAM learning opportunities available in partnership with the military units. The focus of the presentation would be on how we adapted our in-school STEAM projects to include partnerships with families and the community using technology, and were able to make connections between students and their families and members of the community through STEAM.

Supporting research

Our STEAM projects are research-based and supported by abundant studies connecting the activities to hands-on learning, real-world problem solving, collaboration, and potential for project-based learning. Collaborating with community partners on STEAM activities allows students to see real-world applications, learn from experts, make connections to their learning and motivate them to research and explore and learn more. We are providing citations to multiple research papers and books that support our STEAM projects.

Chae, H. I., & Noh, S. G. (2013). The effect of the STEAM activities on the elementary student's science process skills and science-related attitudes. Journal of Science Education, 37(3), 417-433.

Ramey, K. E., Stevens, R., & Uttal, D. H. (2020). In-FUSE-ing STEAM learning with spatial reasoning: Distributed spatial sensemaking in school-based making activities. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(3), 466.

Estrada, M., Eroy‐Reveles, A., & Matsui, J. (2018). The influence of affirming kindness and community on broadening participation in STEM career pathways. Social Issues and Policy Review, 12(1), 258-297.

King, D. T., Lyons, T., Dawes, L., Doyle, T., & O'Loughlin, M. (2018). STEM Resources on Demand (STEMROD): Working with community/industry partners and pre-service teachers to develop “ready to use” resources for teachers. Teaching science, 64(2), 31-37.

Reeve, E. M. (2015). STEM Thinking!. Technology and Engineering Teacher, 75(4), 8-16.

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Jennifer Hall, Southeast Americas/DoDEA
ISTE Certified Educator

I am so thankful to be a part of a school where I am allowed to have a voice in the direction of creativity and innovation growth. I am passionate about all aspects of technology integration in schools but am especially focused on the role that technology has in our Makerspace, Outdoor Makerspace, Robotics Program, and DREAM Studio. As a presenter at many global conferences, I am always excited to work with others to learn and share so that I can help empower our students through authentic learning experiences.

Richard Taylor, Humphreys Central Elementary/DoDEA
ISTE Certified Educator

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