Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Third Graders Present Exciting STEAM Project

At this morning’s Parents Association Meeting, Saint David’s Director of Curriculum Integration, Nora Sundar, talked to our parents about the school’s exciting integrative STEAM program.

Third graders then took to the podium to discuss a new tech-integrated design unit that their class has recently completed. During the unit, the boys used littleBits, colorful electronic pieces with magnets that snap together to make circuits, powered by a battery. 

The boys described how they were encouraged to experiment with the different colored pieces to figure out their functions (the pink were input devices, such as sliders or buttons; the green, output devices, such as buzzers, lights or motors; the orange, connectors.)

The boys noted how they learned, through trial and error with the pieces, the importance of proper sequencing to obtain a desired result.

Once they had mastered how the pieces worked, the boys were then well positioned to put their new knowledge to use by building a burglar alarm for the Lower School science lab. The boys were clearly enthused about what they had learned and how they were able to build something tangible. 

We have increased the number of science classes for our Lower School boys this year by merging and integrating our technology program with the science curriculum to allow the boys greater opportunities to engage in STEAM projects like the littleBits unit.

Our approach in STEAM is based on research suggesting boys need opportunities to work together to solve real problems in order to comprehend the connections among science, technology, engineering, aesthetics, and math.  These types of projects, this type of learning, fits well into our school-wide theme this year of “Ideas and Ideals.” The boys are given opportunities to be leaders who understand the needs of various communities, and who are ready and willing to work together to solve problems. 

We look forward to seeing what else our boys will create and build!

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