Rather than taking the day to go into Philadelphia to the Please Touch Museum or Franklin Institute, kindergarten through third grade students Ridge Park Elementary School and Plymouth Elementary School had a "museum" come to them that was dedicated to STEAM.
"Each letter stands for something. S is science, T is technology, E is engineering, A is arts, and M is math," explained Ellie Paluszka, third grader at Plymouth Elementary School. "My favorite thing about STEAM is that you get to be creative and use your thinking, and you can express yourself through what you do."
The STEAM Museum had nearly a dozen stations that included building structures and working with gears, understanding how electrical currents work, programming robots and using electronics to create music and play games.
"Everything was fun," said Julien Sitko, first grader at Ridge Park. "I liked building the arch and knocking it down."
"My favorite part was the Ozobot, because I got to write what I wanted the robot to do," said Shawn Goretsky, also a first grader at Ridge Park.
Each assembly lasted approximately 45 minutes, with time at the beginning to introduce STEAM and the stations and time at the end to reflect on what the students learned.
"The exciting thing is to see those little light bulbs going off in their heads," said A.J. Kohn from Mobile Ed Productions, the company that brings the STEAM Museum to schools. "They get to explore the world around them, see how things interact and discover how, if they learn one thing and add it to another thing, they can create something completely new."
The assemblies were the result of a new partnership between the Colonial School District Education Foundation and PTOs. The schools' Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs) organized the event and helped run the stations. The Foundation gave each PTO money to bring in opportunities for students in all of the schools to further explore STEAM.
"The kids got a glimpse of what they can do in the future. There was a little boy that went to library right after the assembly and tried to find a STEAM book on engineering. It's really amazing," said Joanne Robinson, co-president of the RP PTO and volunteer at the event. "I also love that we got a lot of parents in to help and see what the Foundation is doing for our kids."
Colonial School District enjoys a culture of STEAM, where STEAM can be found across all classrooms and subject areas. For more about STEAM in Colonial, click here.