STEAMfest Open House 2016

Join us for STEAMfest 2017 Open House on January 11th from 6:30-8pm!

STEAMfest is a celebration of hands-on science and art. Come connect a circuit, learn to solder, create mathematical art or whip up some kitchen chemistry. Take on an engineering challenge with household materials. Make the word science an action verb! Activities will be designed by experienced teachers and are appropriate for scientists ages 4-12.

At Odyssey we feel that our hands-on experiential approach to education is the best for any topic, but where we really shine is in our approach to STEAM.

Most people have heard of STEM- it has become a popular buzzword in education as parents and educators see how important science and technology are in the adult work world.

STEAM goes one step further by adding an additional critical element of creativity found with art. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

In traditional education models the students are taught classes in each of these subjects in isolation from other subjects as though they are in silos. The student is given information and often asked to memorize it out of context and unrelated to the real world.

Imagine taking these same subjects and teaching them in an integrated model that is much more close to how studies show children–all people– retain information. Make the learning of information interesting, engaging and fun and students will retain and build upon it.

For example: Want to learn about geometry? Great –build a patio! Want to learn about chemistry? Bake a cake from scratch!

One of the best examples of how Odyssey embraces STEAM curriculum is our 3-4 grade study of Ancient Egypt. Over the course of a few months, while using Ancient Egypt as the backdrop, students mummify apples, participate in role-play games that teach an understanding of Ancient Egypt’s social hierarchy, build model pyramids, write stories in hieroglyphics, and play a rousing game of Senet. The unit culminates in a banquet to crown a new Pharaoh for which students have written a speech in hieroglyphics, decorated ancient jugs and pottery, researched and made a close approximation of food served at that time and more!

Giving students the opportunity to explore, experiment, design, problem-solve, discover and learn across the curriculum-in an interconnected way- while making mistakes and revisiting their own methods is much closer to what actual scientists do.

This is STEAM!

STEAM connects easily for us with our theme-based curriculum. Not only do we create curriculum that integrates subjects in service of understanding a bigger picture, but we also provide opportunities throughout the week for kids to get creative on their own.

Our students who are involved in makerspaces, construction challenges, and programming, are deeply engaged in what they are doing. We know this engagement will help sustain a student’s interest in science and engineering into the future. That interest is critical as the United States has lagged behind many other countries in graduates entering science and technology fields. In addition, when students are immersed in discovery across the curriculum they acquire a deeper more meaningful understanding of content.

“STEAM represents a paradigm shift from traditional education philosophy, based on standardized test scores, to a modern ideal which focuses on valuing the learning process as much as the results. In essence, we dare our students to be wrong, to try multiple ideas, listen to alternate opinions and create a knowledge base that is applicable to real life as opposed to simply an exam.”
Deron Cameron
Former UPES Principal – US’s 1st STEAM Certified School
Current TCSS Curriculum Coordinator


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