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Keystone Oaks’ Elementary STEAM Program Featured During Ignite Talk at 2017 STEAM Showcase
Keystone Oaks’ Elementary STEAM Program Featured During Ignite Talk at 2017 STEAM ShowcaseKeystone Oaks Elementary STEAM teachers Jennifer Martin and Aaron Colf highlighted the success of the District’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) program as part of the 2017 STEAM Showcase on Oct. 24.

The Center for Creativity at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit hosted the showcase, a regional celebration of STEAM education that featured how students and teachers have integrated STEAM concepts into school curriculums to redefine student learning.

This year’s STEAM Showcase also included a series of three-minute Ignite Talks, where six school districts shared the components of their STEAM programs that make them successful. Ms. Martin and Mr. Colf shared the story of how Keystone Oaks’ STEAM program utilizes a number of low-tech, hands-on projects to teach students about the design process.

In addition to the Ignite Talk, the teachers also displayed projects from the 2017 Fifth Grade Invention Convention, where students were challenged to redesign and make improvements to their desk, chair or locker. As part of the project, students interviewed their peers to gather ideas, built a rapid prototype and then redefined their design to include two working elements. Ideas ranged from cup holders and pencil sharpeners for their desks, to foot and head rests for their chairs, and extra shelves and lighting in their lockers, which students built using cardboard, duct tape, glue and other low-tech materials.

The project was funded by a STEAM grant through the Center for Creativity at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and funded by Chevron and the Benedum and Grable Foundations. Now in its 10th consecutive year, more than 200 STEAM grants have been distributed to school districts throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.