Full STEAM Ahead at EMS

April 28, 2022 / Andrea Wenger
Anatomy and Physiology project

Kindergarten through grade 12 students are “picking up STEAM” — that’s STEM with an “A”– at Eastern Mennonite School.

STEM is quickly recognized by most people as coursework that emphasizes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEAM — with an “A” — adds “the arts” into the mix.

Students in Sarah Mitch’s high school anatomy and physiology STEAM class recently used modeling clay, paper mache, paint, and other art techniques to create the three-dimensional models pictured here.

Using their fingers to create blood vessels and an optic nerve, sculpt hair follicles, and label parts of the brain, helped students to absorb anatomy lessons at a deeper level than reading, looking at pictures, or even drawing might. The photos feature a kidney, eyeball, brain, and cross section of human skin.

See a 2020 article about a seventh grade solar-powered car STEAM project.

More about STEAM
STEAM courses are seen as pedagogically holistic and often involve project-based learning, providing opportunities for students with diverse interests and abilities to contribute, writes Joseph Lathan, PhD, of the University of San Diego, in “Why Steam is So Important to 21st Century Learning.” Creative processes and varied forms of inquiry and investigation are often included.

“STEAM experiences help students to be innovators,” observes Maria Archer, K-8 principal who taught a project-based class this winter to eighth grade students doing…

“The project work allows students to exercise both sides of their brain at once, and sparks interest and lifelong love of the arts and sciences,” believes Archer.


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