Monday, February 2, 2015

Sharing Project Based Learning Units at the Bay Area S.T.E.A.M. Colloquium

In January, five BCS staff members presented at the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s STEAM Colloquium, which is designed to inspire and equip educators with tools and ideas needed to develop robust S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) curricula at their own school sites.  

Two of our 4th grade teachers, Amanda Marino and Jeri Chi, presented their Project Based Learning (PBL) and Design Thinking Unit “Ethical Zoo Habitat Design” in which students strategically apply their knowledge of ecosystems, organisms, and ethics to create an ethical zoo habitat that would meet the needs of two different animals assigned to the same space. 

Mrs. Marino and Ms. Chi shared how students utilized technology in the MakerSpace as well as vector-based drawing software and the laser cutter in the BCS FabLab to create their designs.

Lynn Reed, MakerSpace Director, showed attending educators on how engineering can be integrated into the elementary science curriculum. She showcased how students work in small groups in the MakerSpace to construct detailed models using basic household items and recyclable materials. 

Additionally, art specialist Andrew Lipson shared examples of the many wonderful projects that integrate the visuals arts into K-8 program at BCS. From prosthetic hands to the muscular clay & wire sculptures, robot turtles, and vector-based logos, his displays inspired many conference attendees.

Teachers presenting about PBL and integrated learning units
at the Bay Area S.T.E.A.M. Colloquium