1. Blair Steffens
  2. #LeadingtheWay in STEAM Education
  3. http://www.amsti.org/msp
  4. Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative - UM
  1. Brandon Brown
  2. #LeadingtheWay in STEAM Education
  3. http://www.amsti.org/msp
  4. Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative - UM, Alabama State Department of Education
Public Discussion

Continue the discussion of this presentation on the Multiplex. Go to Multiplex

  • Icon for: Andee Rubin

    Andee Rubin

    Senior Scientist
    May 14, 2018 | 10:56 a.m.

    Your video tells an important story about how change can be sparked through partnerships and with a focus on professional learning.  What challenges did you encounter in the journey from professional development to classroom implementation?  What supports did teachers need and receive to enact STEAM practices in their classrooms?  Where there curriculum areas where implementation was more difficult than others?

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    May 15, 2018 | 01:20 p.m.

    My questions, too. Actually, as I watched the video, I thought about how, for many teachers, there are several kinds of learning that might be needed.  the "STEAM ideology,"for sure.  but also "making" and project-based learning, which makes its own demands on teachers who are not practiced at it.   Which teachers participated in this rich program? Was there some process set up by whch they could collaborate on curriculum or activity ideas, and provide peer support — especially after all the workshops were over?

  • Icon for: Blair Steffens

    Blair Steffens

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 02:03 p.m.

    Before embarking on our STEAM Initiative, our teachers had been implementing PBL for over 8 years.  The year prior to implementation, we also completed a system-wide study about growth mindset, focusing on how to apply the work of Carol Dweck in our K-12 schools.  Because of our focus on PBL, teachers were accustomed to cross-curricular planning and collaboration with colleagues.  The transition to take our learning to another level was seamless.   Over the course of three years, over 70 teachers participated in the STEAM professional learning opportunities (online book studies, hands-on learning, site visits, etc.)  These teacher leaders were charged with mentoring others in their schools.  This model was extremely effective.  Teachers who were not participants in the cohort had 3-4 teacher leaders in their school to support them.  All cohort members were encouraged to use Twitter to showcase and share their learning as well as the learning of their students.  This proved to be an effective resource for teacher collaboration and learning throughout the process.

  • Icon for: Kelsey Lipsitz

    Kelsey Lipsitz

    May 15, 2018 | 11:05 p.m.

    That's great that teachers were already experienced with PBL and accustomed to cross-curricular planning and collaboration. Have you seen continued collaboration between these teacher leaders following the initial professional development experiences? For example, you mentioned that the teachers were encouraged to use Twitter to share their learning -- are they still using Twitter as a means of collaborating with one another? I'm always interested in ways to sustain that collaboration that teachers often practice during professional development experiences.

  • Icon for: Blair Steffens

    Blair Steffens

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 10:57 a.m.

    The collaboration piece has not only continued among the Teacher Leaders who were part of the STEAM Cohort but has also branched out to include teachers who see the work that these teachers are doing and want to be apart of it. We have teachers who are collaborating with others in their own building and even some that are working with teachers from other schools in our district. We continue to see Twitter being used as a way to share learning and foster collaboration. However, its use has seemed to evolve into a more global view as teachers are connecting with others from around the world in order to not only share their learning, but also to grow professionally. 

    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kelsey Lipsitz
  • Icon for: Erica Halverson

    Erica Halverson

    May 16, 2018 | 09:36 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing your story about innovation in STEAM education!  I was glad to hear about the district-wide scope of your project...in many cases, the pathway to STEAM education in schools is one classroom/teacher at a time! I have several questions about your work:

    1) do you have a good sense about how the new practices are being adopted in individual schools? The video mentions that there are STEAM learning activities every day for students...are these practices evenly distributed across teachers and classrooms in the district? How do you track progress?

    2) Did you target a particular group of teachers (e.g. math? art? science?) to lead the initiative in individual schools? What was your theory of action to get people involved?

    3) How is the initiative being received by the community? Are parents excited about the new approaches? Are other organizations, such as libraries and local tech-design companies involved as partners/collaborators?

    Good luck on this ambitious and much-needed work!

    - Erica 

  • Icon for: Alka Harriger

    Alka Harriger

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2018 | 10:20 a.m.

    I love the idea of using a STEAMposium to raise awareness and get kids (and their parents) excited about integrating STEAM into their classes! I see many clearly STEM activities, so I'm curious about how you work the "A" into the experience for participants. I'm also curious about how the specific activities are selected...your team, the teachers, the students, ...? The kids look like they are really enjoying what they're doing, which is such an important element to attracting them to STEM/STEAM and keeping their interests.

  • Icon for: Blair Steffens

    Blair Steffens

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 11:13 a.m.

    For us, the A in STEAM opens a whole new world of creative outlets for students while also fostering artistic, logistic, and design skills - all of while are important in the other areas of STEAM. The embedding of art also attracts more students into STEAM because whether they have an affinity for the arts or not, incorporating these elements of creativity make STEAM more approachable and understandable for students. 


    As far as selecting activities, teachers are the driving force behind how they want to incorporate STEAM concepts and the Engineering Design Process into their teaching and learning. For some it is a way to introduce a concept or make a concept come to life and for others it is way for students to use their thinking skills while also utilizing important 21st Century Skills such as collaboration and communication. 

  • Icon for: Diedra Krieger

    Diedra Krieger

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 17, 2018 | 09:34 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing your video about the implementation of STEAM in your school district and the collaboration! Loved seeing some of the projects! Do you have any references that you found useful about how adding art makes STEM more accessible? As part of the program, were teachers provided funding to purchase 3d printers, EV3s and the like? Thank you! 

  • Icon for: Aliyah Elijah

    Aliyah Elijah

    Graduate Student
    May 21, 2018 | 10:13 a.m.

    I think STEAM is becoming very relevant inside of schools today! I love the idea of incorporating STEAM inside the entire curriculum. That way these students are more than ready to face the real world. Do you have any way to make a list of each project you where doing in this video, they all seem so interesting and I would like to try them with my own class one day! 

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.