New Initiative: STEAM Lab
Connecting teaching and learning meaningfully to the outside world with new tools and technologies
At Bank Street School for Children, we know that children learn by doing. The very act of creating stimulates the brain in ways that deepen learning, comprehension, and the retention of knowledge. Our new lab for science, technology, engineering, art, and math, represented by the acronym STEAM, reflects this idea by engaging students in hands-on activities that inspire creativity and strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
In our STEAM Lab, students learn to manufacture objects and prototypes using the principles of engineering, design thinking, coding, robotics, and technology. Using upcycled materials and technological tools with developing capabilities, students add motion through motors, interaction through sensors, and fabrication through 3-D printers and laser cutters. The lab encourages experimenting, making, and sharing innovative ideas and solutions—integrating and extending every division’s already rich social studies, science, math, arts, and humanities curricula.
To learn more about our STEAM Lab, view a virtual tour of the space. You can also watch a video that Matt Borgmeyer, the Coding, Engineering & Design Thinking Teacher, created for our community to learn more about how the curriculum has taken shape thus far.
Developing the STEAM Lab
Two years ago, a team of School for Children faculty came together to determine how Bank Street could enhance its STEAM curriculum by taking into account our areas of strength in science, art, and math and opportunities for growth in technology and engineering. The team identified the following three curriculum strands to build out over the next several years.
- Students will develop developmentally appropriate baseline proficiency in creating and editing code for applications, games, robotics, and 3-D-programmable design tools.
- Students will be able to investigate an application to understand its primary goals and methodologies.
- Students will understand and be able to use 3-D design hardware—both additive (e.g., 3-D printers) and reductive (e.g., laser cutters, saws).
- Students will integrate new technologies (i.e., sensors, LEDs, inputs, and outputs) into demonstrations of their understanding of current and new concepts.
Technology in Society
- Students will develop an appreciation for and understanding of the transformative role of technology in society, applying their unique perspective to discerning how to use technology to benefit society.
- Students will explore how technology shapes public opinion and the very concepts of truth and democratic decision-making.
Over time, Bank Street students will achieve specific educational objectives in each of these areas via an integrated program that inspires faculty to combine these disciplines into inquiry-based projects, as well as through skills-based, targeted learning opportunities. Students will further develop their critical thinking skills and boost their self-confidence as they learn to seek creative and practical solutions that improve our world.