STEM students are all abuzz with hands on, experiential Maker Space projects and activities led by a specialist in this area. Wood Acres has extended integrated, cross-curricular learning with the addition of this dedicated lab. Collaborative learning is naturally coupled with student teams focused on creative thinking, the scientific process, problem solving, brain challenges, and open-ended projects.
S = Science T = Technology E = Engineering A= Arts M = Math
STEM/STEAM at Wood Acres School is a philosophy of teaching that encourages and supports creativity and innovation in K-8 students. It is not the “what” of the curriculum, but rather the “how”.
STEM/STEAM schools provide challenging, student-centered, inquiry-based experiences for all students in all areas. Students should integrate skills from different subject areas in order to solve real world problems.
STEM/STEAM education is designed to prepare students as responsible citizens for success in the real world, college, and work experiences.
The Wood Acres STEM program introduces both boys and girls to a world of possibility beyond the classroom.The program is focused on building strong foundations in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. The class offered is a study of these four disciplines integrated in a cross-curriculum approach. This early exposure to STEM learning begins in Kindergarten and continues through 8th grade. This type of teaching promotes team collaboration and develops critical thinking and problem solving skills.The students are given challenges that they complete alone or in groups of three or four. The team members must work through the difficult task of collaboration. They brainstorm together and decide on a plan based on the members’ ideas. This process requires cooperation, adaptability, and listening skills. Leaders and followers usually occur naturally, but sometimes conflicts develop that requires teamwork to solve.
We believe in giving our students a space where they can solve problems with creative innovation, and then build the solutions with minimal teacher influence. Each topic lesson (“Flash Talk”) is short with basic background information to get them started. After that, they begin to work as a teacher monitors their progress. The teacher will offer guidance and help with problems discovered after completion.
The EDP (Engineering Design Process) is followed when we are completing a challenge. The steps are the perfect guide for student progression to a successful solution. Ask: What is the problem?, Imagine: Brainstorm a solution, Plan: What to do and how, Create: Build your plan, Improve: Make changes that fix problems.
Our program gives each student an applied technical experience in conjunction with the core curriculum taught in our formal classroom settings. Wood Acres is committed to guiding boys and girls to become people prepared for STEM jobs in the future. These students will be essential for maintaining our national innovations base and for making scientific discoveries and creating new technologies in the United States.
Currently, there are many more STEM related jobs than graduates to fill them. It is extremely important that we introduce this type of environment to our students at a young age. By doing our part, we hope to build an understanding and love of math and science.
The percentage of females currently in computer science is around 17% compared to 83% of males. Historically, girls have been discouraged from pursuing a career in math or science. The U.S. is desperate to find tech talent to help continue to grow businesses in the world market. It is time to encourage women to enter these careers so we can bring diversity to the industry. The benefits of women in tech include: better problem solving, more experience with spending, and better decision making. Studies show that female engineers tend to build things that help society and males build to create. The combination of these will result in diverse innovations.
Our mission is to educate and prepare our students for situations that they will encounter in higher education and in their chosen career. All of the topics that we cover are always discussed as they relate to the real world. Early STEM exposure is the key to a future filled with new technology and improved ways of life.