RCS STREAM: Developing Resilient Problem Solvers
Written by Mary Cate Brauner, STREAM Coordinator at Resurrection
Innovation, a cornerstone of STREAM education, has been in full effect this year. Despite the obvious obstacles associated with a COVID-19 year, the Resurrection community has been working hard to find new and creative ways to keep engaging learning happening.
STREAM stands for Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, and Math. STREAM is all about integrating content areas (rather than teaching each subject in isolation), and developing 21st Century learning skills, such as innovation, creativity, respectful and effective communication, and collaboration. The students learn to be real-world problem solvers with the confidence to take on challenges and persevere in any task that is presented to them. Here at Resurrection, students of all ages engage in career studies by learning about career paths and working with hands-on challenges within those areas. They are discovering new interests and realizing their strengths. Recently, our 5th graders had the exciting opportunity to Zoom with an engineer from Black and Veatch. They learned about what different types of engineers do and engaged in a few hands-on engineering challenges.
As a STREAM Educator, I design my lessons according to the Engineering Design Process. Through this process, the students are guided to identify a challenge, brainstorm a solution, and then plan, create, and test that solution. When possible, the final step is to share their solution with the class and community. This process pushes them to truly engage and interact with the material, thus instilling in them ownership of their learning.
At Resurrection, the STREAM opportunities are becoming more and more plentiful. Every grade level participates in this Makerspace course, and we are also increasingly using the Project Lead the Way curriculum (a hands-on exploration of real-world challenges). Additionally, Resurrection offers STREAM afterschool opportunities and K-8 STREAM summer camps.
Maybe most importantly of all, STREAM offers an environment where students are not afraid to fail, because they know they learn from their missteps. Students are encouraged to continue striving, which forms a resilience and confidence in them that will carry them into their future.
Mary Cate Brauner joined the RCS team in 2020. She is the STREAM Coordinator, working with students and teachers in grades preschool through 8th grade. She also oversees the Makerspace at RCS and plays an important role in the school's STREAM Team.