Sunday, 16 September 2018

Starting the Year full STEAM ahead

Followers of social media may have noted that last week Fort St John city councilors, in a meeting with Education Minister Rob Fleming at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Whistler requested "that the Ministry of Education work with the Municipality and SD60 to include capacity for a STEAM program in the new facility that will be constructed in 2019, and that the Ministry facilitate the creation of partnerships to deliver STEAM programming in Fort St. John."  

While the district is always grateful for the support and interest of our colleagues within municipal governments, it might encourage them to know that STEAM programming is already alive, well and thriving throughout all of our schools.  Programs promoting Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics are enthusiastically taught, and even more eagerly received by staff and students who have received accolades for their innovative skills and talents at local, provincial and national levels.

As aptly described by council, "STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century."  

SD 60 has been consistently at the forefront of STEAM education for many years. Our Northern BC regional science fair, held in partnership with SD 59, has produced entries that have gone on to medal at both national and international competitions. Elementary students participating in annual spaghetti bridge building competitions  have created designs so strong they are virtually unbreakable and our Applied Design Science and Technology (ADST) teachers have guided students to  represent all of BC and place nationally in Skills Canada competitions in robotics - definitely a leading edge 21st century skill area.  

Our commitment to STEAM and ADST reaches students not only in Fort St John, but extends to all our schools as evidenced by the keen interest and tremendous successes achieved by students at Prespatou, Clearview and Hudsons Hope. Our Careers department supports Maker Spaces in elementary schools like Duncan Cran and Ecole Central and makes cutting edge technology like 3 D printers available to every school site.  

SD 60 is proud of its ongoing commitment to STEAM and ADST learning. We have some of the best and most innovative teachers and enterprising students anywhere. Those hoping to see such programs expanded to new schools in the future can rest easy. In this district 21st century learning is already here - its everywhere and its only going to get better!


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