What is STEAM?
The STEAM education approach uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking skills. The end result is students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experimental learning, persist in problem solving, embrace collaboration and work through the creative process. These students are the innovators, educators, leaders and learners of our fast-paced world.
The STEAM & Montessori Approaches
This pedagogy falls perfectly in line with the Montessori approach that Milestone Montessori teaches on a daily basis. The Montessori materials that our students already utilize have taught them that each task requires specific logic to solve a specific problem. With the addition of STEAM programming, our students will further benefit from a more non-traditional learning method guided purely by their own innate curiosity.
So, how do we incorporate STEAM programming into our existing Montessori curriculum? At Milestone Montessori, we ensure that collaborative planning takes place among our teachers. While this planning includes elements such as methods, lesson delivery, assessment and curriculum design; the cornerstone and foundation of the program remains our students’ curiosity.
Toddlers and STEAM
Some may wonder whether toddlers have the capacity to fully experience a program such as STEAM, due to the nature of their age and physical capabilities. However, we believe that – just like the Montessori curriculum we provide during the school year – early exposure to various areas of learning promotes a healthy development of their minds. For example, the Technology element of STEAM programming does not necessarily involve computers, smart phones and electronic devices. Instead, the Toddler program will explore the roots and definition of the word “technology” which is simply “something that is created by humans”. That translates into various hands-on activities that include the use of creative tools, including crayons, scissors, markers and play dough.
Casa/Preschool and STEAM
With a solid foundation based on our regular Montessori programming, our Casa students are exposed to the STEAM programming in the most beneficial way. We will utilize new materials linked to the STEAM program, such as LED tablets, to deliver new teaching methods. These are not your typical iPads, but instead are a light panel that enhances different learning methods for the students. The specific teaching outcomes provide students with STEAM insight that further builds on their already budding learning and curiosity.