We just launched our new program at 212 STEAM Labs. We are now proud to offer services to grades preschool - adults. Our new program is focused on grades K-2. We have a new format for this age group that we believe is effective, engaging, and providing learning opportunities that capture all subject areas.
What we are doing is following a format that follows this format:
1. Create curiosity with a question prompt
2. Read a picture about focused on the creativity prompt
3. Discuss the book and question what is happening in the story
4. Discuss the issues in the book
5. Explore potential solutions to the problem in the book through hands on learning and making
For our first class we read the book, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Many students have already read this book which is good as a foundation of common understanding.
Here in Iowa it has been very cold outside and we have had a nice layer of snow on the ground. We explored the question, Why is snow white?
For our first class we wanted to get a feel for what the students prior experiences have been and what their skillsets they were bringing to the class. We tapped into the resource Mystery Science to use their format for the class.
Our instructor was amazing. He was kind, gentle, and really connected to the students. He read the book with great emotion.
We started by asking why is snow white. It was so fascinating to hear their responses. The most common was that snow falls from clouds and clouds are white.
After we finished reading, he went outside and fogged up the window to help them understand our breath has moisture.
He shared how he was snowed in during winter break. From there we created our own clouds using shaving cream and food coloring. This was designed to help them think further about water and rain and snow.
We then moved into the activity in Mystery Science exploring if snow is actually white using wax paper. When the paper was close to the snowflake could we see it? Could we see it when further away? Rolled up? Folded? Cut up into strips?
This brings up the concept of transparency and connecting it to snow. This was a big moment of learning.
As time started to escape from us as we were having so much cutting, folding, talking about snow and more we had to pause our snowflake creations.
We will come back to explore snow in our next session. In the end we discussed snow and ice and ended up by making some ice cream for them all to sample.
It was a great first class with lots of energy and excitement by the students. We look forward to really expanding building out this program as we think this is going to be a huge hit in learning for everyone.
Below is a slideshow of some images. Click the image to see the next one.