STEAM Ahead: 2022 STEM and Arts Education Presentations

 In The CAPE Blog

CAPE and Park Forest – Chicago Heights School District 163 STEAM teachers and educational consultants were thrilled to share their partnership at a national and a state conference this year. Teachers from the district and the consultants they’ve worked with over the past four years presented at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference on July 21, 2022, and at the Illinois Association of Title 1 Directors (IATD) Conference on September 19, 2022.

Why present art at a science conference? STEAM Ahead integrates arts with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Using CAPE’s collaborative teaching model, teachers and teaching artists worked together to create innovative units for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. 

Patty Whitehouse, CAPE PD consultant for STEAM Ahead

STEAM Ahead Consultants Jenna Senai, Jerry Stefl, and Patty Whitehouse shared a Science and Art practices card sort with science teachers from across the US, where they concluded that Arts and Science practices are quite similar! Title 1 teachers and directors sorted the cards and came up with the same conclusion.

Science and art practices card sort used at the conference.

Conference participants also got to build a tower that required them to use STEAM concepts.

Conference participants work on a STEAM tower

STEAM Ahead liaison Cheryl Munch and teachers Lori Mitchell and Andrea Mele enthusiastically shared some of the activities they created, highlighting the excited responses from students.

From left: Andrea Mele, Patty Whitehouse and Lori Mitchell

Cheryl Muench, District 163 CAPE Liaison for STEAM Ahead

Lori Mitchell, District 163 teacher for STEAM Ahead

Images of STEAM Ahead students and their work were integral to the presentation.

Second grade students built Symmetry Cities as part of their STEAM Ahead collaboration.

First Grade students used what they knew about the needs of plants, animals and people to create what they needed to survive in space. They put on an Engineering Fashion Show to share their inventions. This inventor is showing off her jet pack.

Students observed plants and animals in their community, then created Cornell Boxes to present their observations.

Teachers and teaching artists worked together to create innovative STEAM units that were aligned to National Arts Standards, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core Standards for Math and Language Arts. Students connected arts and STEM practices, like figuring out how to make circuits using LEDs, then making light designs on the plastic dividers.

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