In third grade STEAM, the curriculum includes investigations into environmental science, climate change, math and robotics. Kyle Anderson, third grade STEAM teacher, also prioritizes an intersection of social justice and inequities in her lessons to help students make connections to the current world. By incorporating art, she gives students an additional outlet to express their understanding of the material. “Art helps students digest complex concepts and is an important avenue in their learning in STEAM. Without art and design, there would be very few ways to tell the stories of science,” says Kyle. Through the STEAM curriculum, third graders are exposed to a diverse collection of concepts and subjects that they may choose to pursue as they grow as thinkers. In their climate-change unit this year, third graders focused on graphing the high temperatures in the month of January to build on their data-analysis, math and graphing skills. The class also used design-thinking challenges and KAPLA blocks to show their understanding of extreme weather like hurricanes and tornadoes. In these challenges, Kyle wove in math, science and art, while encouraging teamwork and partnerships and stimulating curiosity.
“Art helps students digest complex concepts and is an important avenue in their learning in STEAM. Without art and design, there would be very few ways to tell the stories of science.” Kyle Anderson, third grade STEAM teacher
Additionally, she discussed with students the impact of extreme weather on communities around the world, particularly those that are disadvantaged. “While learning about climate change is fun, understanding that these scientific decisions have consequences [for] humans is essential to being great scientists,” Kyle says. “These weather events can have a significant impact on people’s lives.” By teaching students to consider all perspectives in their lessons, Kyle is helping prepare smart, innovative thinkers who will one day have the skills to make their own impact on the world.