STEAM Family Night organizer Sarah Wood noticed one interesting thing during the event that drew around 200 people recently at Godfrey Elementary.
Very few parents were texting or on their cell phones.
“If they had their phones out, it was because they were taking pictures or video of what their child was doing, but otherwise they were engaged with their child, learning and experimenting themselves,” said Wood, in her 14th year as technology and media integration specialist at Godfrey-Lee. “That is a huge win in my book.”
At the district’s first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Night, kindergarten through fifth grade students and their parents hurried from classroom to classroom to see what fun, new activity awaited.
They found robotics to control, 3D printing, circuitry experiments, math games and even Loteria (Mexican bingo).
In the popular glow room, participants made glow-in-the-dark jewelry, color in the dark and play with Giant Jenga, Neon Legos and 3D math.
Developing Young Thinkers
Abby Mendoza and boyfriend Brian Masunas, both graduates of Godfrey-Lee, enjoyed the circuitry room with their son Alex, a Young Fives student.
“My son’s enjoying it so I think that’s awesome,” Mendoza said.
Wood said they emphasize the six C’s at Godfrey-Lee; collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence and how those fit into the classroom. STEAM is such a huge catalyst for making those things happen.
“It’s about getting kids hands-on experiences and making meaning of the contents and helping them build those skills that they need to be just people,” said Wood, whose primary job is to get STEAM integrated in all the classrooms.
“We’re really helping parents understand and see first-hand what the kids are doing in the classroom.”