S.T.E.A.M- Who, What, Why and How?
At the start of the 2013-2014 school year at Holland Patent Middle, many students have been asking similar questions about just what the eighth graders are doing so differently. Many changes have been made, and it’s important that you understand what’s happening. After all, you could be a part of it next year!
How does it help?
S.T.E.A.M is a program with the goal of showing students the many connections in all of the subjects they study. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Our staff at Holland Patent is working hard to teach the curriculum in a way that applies to the big picture, helping to develop skills that will become useful in the real world.
What changes is it making right now?
Have you noticed the eighth graders checking a posted schedule every school day? This is a big part of what’s different about S.T.E.A.M. Core classes like math, technology, social studies, English, and science are subject to a schedule change every day. This is why it’s so important for 8th graders to take a look at their schedules every day! However, classes like art, algebra, foreign language, and music courses are left untouched by S.T.E.A.M. This means they don’t change every day with the new schedule. This system may seem confusing, but it allows students to focus on a specific concept or project for however long is necessary. The idea is to allow a more complete understanding of the curriculum. This does not mean that what’s being learned is any different- just the way it’s being taught.
Why Just the 8th Graders?
A little while ago, members of the 8th grade staff visited a middle school in Syracuse to observe the effects of S.T.E.A.M. After careful consideration, the decision was made to put it into action here at Holland Patent Middle School. Since this hasn’t been done here until now, it’s very important to observe and receive feedback! Trying S.T.E.A.M with the 8th grade class allows everyone in the program to work closely together in order to make the decision of whether or not it’s something to try with other grades in the near future.
Will I be a part of S.T.E.A.M?
Perhaps! It all depends on how effective the 8th grade students and staff find it to be this school year, and they still have a lot to learn!