- Research shows that STEAM promotes student engagement and learning. It also promotes important higher-level thinking skills.
- Research also has shown that these skills are most effectively learned through multiple years’ STEAM experiences. In this process, each year builds on the year before and students increasingly become experts at solving problems innovatively by integrating the arts with science.
- Supported by Texas Commission on the Arts funding, ICEE conducted pilot programs in 1st and 2nd grades at Birdwell Dual Language Immersion School in Tyler, TX ISD and Elkhart Elementary in Elkhart, TX ISD in 2019-20 and 2020-21. Plans are in place to continue and expand this project.
- These programs use projects developed in collaboration with NASA’s Imagine Mars project.
- The students in this project each year showed significant learning of grade-level science and art concepts in addition to the impressive higher-level thinking skills. In addition, 98% of the students who experienced the project for the 2nd time said that the previous year’s experience helped them do well.
- Teacher comments:
- 1st Grade: “The students were able to apply what they learned in 1 area to a different area, using the concept in multiple modalities.” “The students gained a sense of self-efficacy.” “The art vocabulary is what helped them solve their science problem.” “All students were engaged, even those who typically struggle.” “This definitely helped teach the science standards.”
- 2nd Grade: “The students need this kind of learning all the time.” “Doing the art activities helped the students understand the weather concepts.” “Some of my students who don’t participate in class really got into this and asked each week if it was the day to the Mars project.” “This gave them self-confidence.”
As part of their learning experiences, both grades:
- Made their invention
1st grade teacher talks about the importance of this project.
2nd grade teacher talks about the importance of this project.