STEAM Programs in Elementary School: What to Expect

Published : Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | 12:30 PM

As you begin your search for an elementary school for your child, it is natural to feel overwhelmed. Between the multitude of curriculum choices and tours of schools, it may be difficult to determine which is the best option for your child.

When deciding on the right elementary school, looking for a school that provides a STEM/STEAM curriculum can help set your child up for success long into the future. At a STEM/STEAM school, your child will receive a cutting-edge education that is unique, integrated, inspiring, and provides opportunities for students to develop skills needed for future careers.

Below, we dive into the benefits of a STEM/STEAM education, as well as what your child can expect from a STEM/STEAM curriculum in elementary school.

What Are the Benefits of a STEM/STEAM Curriculum?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, while STEAM incorporates the arts as well. Both curricula emphasize collaboration, communication, research, problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity at each grade level.

While a STEM/STEAM education has a tangible effect on your child’s retention and growth in elementary school, the benefits extend beyond fifth grade. The yearly growth for STEM jobs is projected to be almost double that of non-STEM jobs, and people who work in STEM earn, on average, 26% more than people employed in non-STEM fields. By providing your child with a solid STEM foundation at a young age, you can set them up for success far into the future.

What Does STEM Learning Look Like?

STEM education makes learning meaningful to the student. A STE(A)M learning environment allows students to make the connection between the concepts learned in class and how those concepts apply to the real-world in which they live. In order for students to develop problem-solving skills, STE(A)M education starts with students mastering foundational skills and then challenges them to use their critical thinking skills to solve a variety of real-world problems.

Even though STE(A)M learning is associated with science and mathematics, integrating other disciplines – such as language arts and social sciences – enables students to see that real-world problems are interdisciplinary. STEM learning is the exploration of these problems using hands-on experimentation and iterative inquiry-based techniques. Students work together in teams and use research skills and materials to solve a problem or build a solution – thus developing the STEM habits of mind.

Here are a few examples of STEM learning:

• Automaking – Study friction by designing a car or the surface of the ramp
• Filmmaking – Create a stop-motion animation of sun flares
• Environment – Engineer a simple pneumatic machine to transport goods for a future city using different gases
• Biomedical – Create an App that will monitor progress of remedies relating to medical issues in real time
• Social Studies – Develop a communication plan to inform the community of a natural disaster

About Stratford Schools

Stratford Schools’ curriculum integrates a STEM/STEAM education in elementary school. Stratford’s STEAM lessons are anchored in science and math, while emphasizing language arts, along with visual and performing arts to foster 21st century skills of communication, critical thinking, authentic problem-solving, creativity, and innovation. To learn more about what to expect with STEM/STEAM programs at Stratford, schedule a tour of your local Stratford School today.








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