STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, and we award grants each year to the public schools in Gwinnett County that have great ideas for projects that support these subjects. Some of these projects are big. And some are small. But all are important in strengthening education.
Trip Elementary science specialist Debbie P. gave us the lowdown on her school’s grant, which helped teachers buy new Chromebooks for students.
Tell us about the Chromebooks. How many were you able to purchase?
We purchased 12, including licenses for safe access. When they arrived, it was like Christmas came during the spring time.
Which students at Trip get to use these?
Mainly the 10 5th-grade classes I teach, though some teachers have borrowed them for various classroom activities. It’s been wonderful to have this resource I can share when it’s needed by others.
What types of STEAM-related projects have you been able to use these for?
We’ve been studying electricity, so they’ve played a big part in that—using them to study conductors and insulators and to create circuits. These Chromebooks allow us to use the Makey Makey kits we purchased. Students get to design and then build their own circuits out of various items—the choices are endless, really, and only limited by their imaginations. They can use these circuits to play music, educational games or to create their own engaging activities.
It sounds like these Chromebooks are having a positive impact.
The students love using them. They’re totally engaged and super focused when creating their projects. The only complaint I ever hear is that they want more time.
These types of activities allow different kids to shine. I find that some who might otherwise be shy or introverted are often the kids helping others troubleshoot problems. Roles change, in part, because the students get to take charge of their own learning—I’m just the facilitator. And as an educator, that is so exciting to see.
At Infinite Energy, we love hearing success stories about kids and learning, and we’re so proud to play a small part in that. Stay tuned for more blogs on school STEAM projects in the weeks and months ahead.