Monthly Archives: July 2013
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts/Agriculture, and Mathematics) after school programs serve as a fantastic tool to generate interest and to think about how the core sciences integrate nicely with liberal arts studies to solve real world problem scenarios. STEAM camps provide students with a fun learning approach in which topics are explored, researched, and presented to promote true differentiated learning. Dublin Intermediate and Junior High hosted a second annual STEAM camp last month. Dublin is a rural community located in central Texas, and is working to learn more about solar energy with NASA education’s Multiscale Magentosphere team, the Perot Museum, Tarleton State University, and the University of North Texas. Students were exposed to vocabulary concepts related to NASA’s Magnetosphere Mission and reflected using the arts. Vocabulary approaches were emphasized the first day of STEAM camp and included the following stations: Technology Games for Vocabulary, the Art of Vocabulary, MMS Spacecraft Vocabulary Game, and Creating an iBook Glossary. Integration Tools that were utilized during the first building block included the following.
Students were exposed to a variety of science integration lessons were students learned about magnetic force and the sun. Rockets were built and launched within a space crew. Professors, researchers, the public librarian, TX Dot engineers, artists, and NASA engineers were brought in to meet with students daily. In fact, students had the privilege to meet Laurence Gartel, the Father of Digital Art. Students built a solar oven, roasted s’mores, and reflected by creating magnetic art using iPods.
Career guest speakers were brought in virtually and in person throughout the camp experience. Guest speakers shared how topics like magnetic force, measurement, force and motion, green economics, and the creative arts connect to their real professional lives. Students were exposed to TED’s William Kamkwamba to learn about the power of thought, action, and belief in reusing items in existence to build a useful object to help a community. Students were then exposed to Make To Learn resources and Fab Lab and were challenged to build a windmill. Young engineers built Lego NXT robots during STEAM camp. Crews were challenged to build a green city using either recycled trash or Legos. Most crews chose to use recycled trash and Fab Lab to build a green city. STEAM camp participants were fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the Perot Museum to learn more about renewable energy and participated in Biofarming for Fuel. As a final exercise, students replicated NASA’s Transmedia MMS labs to build a scaled version of NASA’s MMS spacecraft. Tarleton State University hosted a space lounge exhibit at the Fine Arts Center in late June were crews led a student museum exhibit and served the role of an artist, engineer, scientist, or journalist to teach the public at large about renewable energy, magnetic force, and NASA’s MMS 2014 mission. The experience was shared at an academic research conference exchange and at the International Society of Technology Education 2013 conference in San Antonio in June. A special thank you to Tarleton State University, the University of North Texas, the Perot Museum, and NASA for giving students this once in a lifetime experience.