Contributed by Lance Davis, 7th Grade Physical Science Teacher
STEAM, an acronym and 21st century educational buzz word, stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. It is important to understand that STEAM occurs in multiple combinations and content areas. It doesn’t have to be all inclusive to be effective. At HCES, STEAM is implemented into each one of our classrooms in multiple combinations throughout the year.
STEAM Fair, the Physical Science yearly culmination project, incorporates all the components of the acronym through a hands-on, student-driven, peer-reviewed, project-based activity. Over a period of several weeks, students select a project, research the concepts, construct an initial build, and collect initial data. But, that’s the easy part. Next, students must formulate testable questions, create a detailed experimental design, and collect new data based on the selected testable question. Finally, through teacher intervention and peer-review, all of that information is presented in a detailed research paper with tables, graphs, and explanations of limitations and errors which may have occurred.
7th graders worked on this as a cross curricular project in science and language arts. This helped students gain a better understanding of the importance of writing for other subject areas while also learning the mechanics and formatting of a research paper.
Upon completion of the project, each student was required to write a reflection about the process. Some student responses are as follows:
Typically, I save studying for a test, exam, quiz, or doing homework for the night before it is due. For STEAM Fair, I started a while before the due date and it made the project a lot less stressful. If I had saved everything for the night before, I would have been stressed and then probably blamed it on the fact that the amount of writing was too much. Matthew
When we got our peer reviews for our STEAM fair paper, my review person gave me some great feedback that helped me a lot. Without that feedback, I would have gotten a lot of points taken off. I felt like breaking the assignments into portions helped me a lot. It helped me stay organized, and helped me know what I have every week, and what is due. Leo
Through the building and experiment of this project, I learned time-management. I learned to take a bit of time to look at what needed to be done first. Then, I needed to look at priorities and due dates to make sure that I was spending my time efficiently. In addition, I learned that I gained skills on how I should review my project, and ask peers if my research paper was sufficient in meeting the guidelines on the rubric. Brian
Going into the STEAM Fair project, I was unsure about how I was going to perform on it. I did not get the project I was hoping for, which was “Testing Glucose Levels”. Instead, I got “Recycled Paper” which is making paper out of recycled paper. I did not want to do this one because I thought it wouldn’t be challenging and I wouldn’t be interested. In the end, “Recycled Paper” was a great challenge and I learned lots from it. Along with that, I had lots of fun with the project. Diana
I learned a lot during my project. I was shocked to find such useful and meaningful information, in just a seventh grader’s STEAM Fair project. During this project, and throughout all of the steps, I learned major time-management, how to write a correct research paper, and more. Throughout the experiment, because of all of my setbacks, I learned time-management and how to multi-task. Grace
Students will present their projects and data on May 8, 2017 from 1:15 – 2:45 in the Student Center.
Watch a STEAM Fair Sneak Peek here! https://safeshare.tv/x/6BzX2BJuIfg