NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - A North Charleston elementary school is showing educators across the country how to put "STEAM" into STEM learning.
STEAM learning incorporates arts to the core of STEM education--or science, technology, engineering and math. The Next Steps Institute's national conference is being held in Charleston this year, and as part of the 3-day event, educators are touring North Charleston Creative Arts.
"Today, we wanted them to see STEAM in action with real life schools, real life kids and teachers, just so they can see what it really looks like," Susan Antonelli, dir. of education for Engaging Creative Minds, said. The conference is
North Charleston Creative Arts features an arts-centered curriculum for its 500 elementary students. The partial magnet school has a full time arts faculty that teaches so that art intersects core subjects.
"Students are working together, they're using different arts mediums to really make a difference in their academic learning," Christine Zamboki of North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary, said.
"As many exposures as they can get in the same material will help with them," dance teacher Kimbly Majewski said. "In my class, I do science, math and reading and writing.
Majewski builds a lesson around what students are studying in other classes, incorporating dance in the process.
"It's just another way to get kids thinking outside the box," Majewski said.
"Sometimes concepts that are real abstract in science and math, if you can bring in movement, or visual art or technology, it really becomes an anchor for children to build their understanding," Antonelli said.
The STEAM method also engages kids' creative thinking, a practice educators say can be instrumental to their future.
"One of the things we're finding in the 21st century profile of a graduate, you need to be able to cooperate with others, you need to be flexible. you need to be creative," Zamboki said. "And that's really why arts are integrated and brought into the STEAM aspect."
"We feel like supporting this kind of instruction, this kind of learning is exactly how we're going to build the kind of workforce we need for the future," Antonelli said.
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