Thursday, November 2, 2017

Not STEM, Not STEAM, but STREAM

STREAM - a little type of activity we do at our co-op class, incorporating {Science - Technology - Religion and Reading - Engineering - Art - Math} that you might like to enjoy with your children at home, in a classroom, or even at Vacation Bible School. I am not a STEM professional - my background is in English, Drama, and Debate - but that just proves that even you can do STEM if I can do it!  Consequently, please let me know how you improve the activities, as many combined minds often produce better ideas.




What is STREAM?

Science
Technology
Religion & Reading
Engineering
Art
Math

My purpose is for my children to approach science and math because those subjects allow us to wonder at the amazing and beautiful absolute truths built into God's creation, because those subjects help us understand our surroundings, because those subjects give them pleasure and enable them to achieve what God puts into their hearts to achieve.

Thanks be to God that the STEM initiative has trained many teachers to be able to offer more to their students and that more students - who perhaps did not have access to engineering and technology in their classrooms - are now more able to get it. Thanks be to God also for art and beauty, for goodness and truth.  If we highly train an army of scientists who can rule the world, but do not nurture their sense of what is good and true, we could train a villainous army indeed. Why not combine more than the original four STEM subjects and study things from a holistic viewpoint when possible?




A local magnet school does this and calls it STEAM, because they add Art. My local library also offers STEAM (STEM + Art) projects for students grades 3-5. I'm not the only one who sees a wisdom in incorporating STEM into a larger feast of learning.

Therefore it was with sparked interested that I noticed the phrase STREAM on the website of a local Roman Catholic private school.  I appreciate that God is incorporated into the study, since He is the originator of the subject matter. I also like that Art is incorporated, since real beauty is the outward manifestation of spiritual truth. I personally added the extra "R" of reading, because I find that stories convey truths in a way that stick with children.

So where does this leave you?

If you have children in a public or private school, thank God for the good things they are getting and consider if you want to add any STREAM activities into your rainy days or summer fun.

If you teach in a classroom, thank God for the chance to work out your salvation serving kids and consider if you can or even want to integrate Art, Science, and Religion.

If you home school your children, thank God for the good things they are getting and consider if you want to add any STREAM activities into your days.


Why am I even thinking about all of this? Quite by accident. I was asked - despite my complete lack of experience in the subject! - to teach the Kindergarten/1st Grade Art and Science class at our Orthodox Homeschool Co-op.  At first I was going to do science one week, then art one week, but I felt more comfortable mixing them together. As the weeks have gone by, it has occurred to me that - at least for Kindergarten and First Grade - it is not too hard to create STREAM activities, or at least lessons that incorporate Science, Religion, Reading, and Art.



No comments:

Post a Comment