By TERESA HAMMOND
The second half of the 2017 school year is full STEAM ahead for the student body of Sierra View Elementary School, thanks to the efforts of third grade teacher Lisa Greenhow and a team of volunteers.
For the third consecutive year, the learning enthusiast has been able to educate students through hands on learning and breakout rotations in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). There are a total of seven rotations in all, broken down on varying days, by grade level.
“Each grade level gets a whole day,” Greenhow stated. “There are seven sessions for each grade level, except kindergarten. Kindergarten only gets five because they are half days.
“All of the fourth grade is blended,” she added during one of the most recent STEAM days, “which makes 12 to 14 kids in a group. That’s the ultimate goal for ultimate learning.”
The educator first introduced the sessions four years ago to grades three through six thanks to a $5,000 grant awarded from the California Teachers Association.
“I designed the whole thing from scratch. I wrote a grant and was given $5,000,” she said of the first year, noting that much of that money was used to invest in items which would sustain the program for years to come.
Since that initial funding, Greenhow has relied on grants and donations from the Sierra View Parent Teacher Club, as well as the Oakdale Educational Foundation to invest further into the needs of the program.
During each grade’s designated STEAM day the rotations include varying experiences from circuitry lab, KEVA block engineering, robotics and “Beat the Box” – a mystery type puzzle challenging students through questions and clues.
Third grader and resident robotics specialist Border Rath shared his passion with fellow students by way of the Ozobot.
It’s a robot described by the eight-year-old as the size of a ping pong ball, which once synced with a Chromebook may be maneuvered via coding.
“Mrs. Greenhow showed these robots to me and she inspired me to get one,” young Border shared, noting the care and special handling they require to stay ‘active.’
Now in its fourth year and with the entire student body benefitting, Greenhow shared she’d love to see the program go district wide.
“I love all things,” she said, generally speaking. “I’ve always loved science. My problem is I don’t just love one thing, so things kind of blend all together and it works.”
The final two STEAM workshops for the Sierra View Coyotes will be hosted in May. For additional information on Greenhow’s Full STEAM Ahead events e-mail email@example.com.