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Beyond STEAM

It’s April and we are busily preparing for our Spring Showcase at Kent School. Until recently, we called this event the Spring Arts Showcase, with our students fine and performing arts accomplishments on display. The newly named Spring Showcase puts the spotlight on a wider array of student work.
In Education, the acronym STEAM refers to the convergence of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics in teaching. Teachers at Kent School have a strong history of practicing cross-curricular teaching AKA STEAM. This spring we are going beyond STEAM and that joyful educational journey will be on display for parents and guests at the Spring Showcase.

We know through our commitment to Mind, Brain and Education Science that presenting material in multiple modalities helps students retain their learning. Our teachers’ willingness to collaborate with each other for the benefit of students demonstrates their dedication to student success. When students feel they are known and seen, we know they learn more. Students have a chance to show their knowledge and talents in a variety of ways. The work they are doing in preparation for the Spring Showcase is also a wonderful example of the balance of joy and rigor in teaching and learning. Hard work is important but there must also be joy in learning, creating and discovering. 

In Lower School Science, students study the different biomes of the world learning about plants, animals, ecology and a bit about the economies in each of the areas. This year, our Third Grade students are immersed in the Rainforest and this immersion crosses several subject areas including Science, Research, Writing, Art, Public Speaking and Spanish. 

After learning about the features and characteristics of a Rainforest in Science, students selected a rainforest animal as their focus. During Library class they researched their animal using reference materials and collected notes. Those notes are becoming speeches which are being honed during their Language Arts periods. Incorporating technology, the speeches will be filmed and accessible for view via a unique QR Code. In Art, students are making a three dimensional sculpture of their selected animal. Even Spanish is interwoven into this project. Students have learned that the cacao bean is an essential part of South American rainforest habitat, the area economy, and the production of chocolate. During our Spring Showcase, students will be offering hot chocolate from their el camion de alimentos or Food Truck.

When the professionals talk about STEAM, Kent School students talk enthusiastically about hands-on learning, the joy of creating, and the wonder of discovery.