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STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. Combining these disciplines and presenting them in an engaging, in-depth way is what Mrs. Denise Schmidle (our middle school math teacher) hopes to accomplish through her new STEAM Club for middle school students.
At their first STEAM Club meeting, over 20 students had the opportunity to explore the concept of "density" through hands-on experimentation. Future STEAM Club projects will include building balloon cars, creating a ski jump, building marshmallow shooters, creating pendulum paintings, and more. The club also plans to attend and participate in the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire in May. They will build a sand pendulum to take to the event.
When asked why she started the STEAM Club, Mrs. Schmidle said she wanted something that was "more hands-on for learners who want to take concepts to the next level." She said she was wanting to offer activities that were more engaging and hands-on than those previously offered in Math Club. "In STEAM Club, you're pulling everything you know and using it. The kids use the scientific process, they're engineering and making something better than it was before. We're taking learning to the next level." Not only that, but they're genuinely having fun.
Mrs. Schmidle is already planning for next year and thinking about ways to make her STEAM Club activities engaging and meaningful. She hopes to help develop persistence in her students as they embrace the creative process, take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, and collaborate in problem solving. If you would like to be a guest presenter or contribute in any way to the STEAM Club at Wooster Christian School, please contact Denise Scmidle at (330) 345-6436.