Today, nearly all jobs regardless of the profession, rely in some way or another on people’s expert capabilities in each of the disciplines within the Scence, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) approach.
Here’s how Canadian International School (CIS) helps its students learn these skills.
“Our approach to STEAM is student-led and hands-on. We focus on activities where students have the opportunity to make connections and solve real-life, authentic problems, which helps them think critically and approach problems from multiple perspectives, but also keeps them excited to learn,” says Ben Cooperman, design teacher and STEAM coordinator at CIS’s Tanjong Katong campus (pictured). He feels that these are essential skills students need in order to be successful in the 21st century. “We can’t just memorise solutions to problems that have already been solved,” he adds.
“Some of our Grade 3 students at our Tanjong Katong campus recently helped transform our dedicated STEAM space into an area conducive to the sorts of projects they want to do,” says Ben. Together, they have helped build workbenches for carrying out woodworking activities, and constructed different types of work tables with storage for keeping their projects. At each stage of the project, they applied their skills and knowledge in various disciplines including math (measurement), science (structure), art (design, technical drawing) and technology (3D modelling software). They were also required to collaborate with classmates, research, problem solve and think creatively and critically.
In Secondary School, some of CIS’s Grade 7 students designed and created their own apron using upcycled materials. “Watching students apply their knowledge and convert their ideas into a reality is very rewarding,” says Ben, who enjoys seeing their excitement when they realise their efforts lead to an actual product that has genuine value to real people. “Witnessing students then actively sharing their discoveries, designs and techniques with their fellow peers is very fulfilling,” he adds.
Canadian International School
Tel: 6734 8088
From The Finder Kids Vol. 23, June 2018
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