SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Throughout South Plainfield Schools, elementary students will have the opportunity to explore areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and math on Feb. 12 during the district’s first STEAM Day.
“The district’s goal for STEAM Day is to promote curiosity about math and science at a young age,” Joanne Ryan, the district’s supervisor of special services, told TAPinto South Plainfield.
In September, a volunteer teacher committee was formed in each of the four elementary buildings and, over the months that followed, the respective committees, along with district supervisors and building principals, met to plan for STEAM Day.
“STEAM Day offers a fun, hands-on learning experience that celebrates students’ inquisitive nature and welcomes them into a different type of learning environment,” said Mary Flora-Malyska, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
On the afternoon of Feb. 12, kindergarten through fourth grade students will rotate within their grade level and participate in several grade-appropriate and interest-based STEAM learning experiences. Lessons, which will be run by classroom teachers with assistance from South Plainfield High School seniors, will include ‘marshmallow catapults,’ ‘geo slime,’ ‘bridge and boat making challenges,’ ‘egg drop,’ and more.
“Creativity reigns supreme when learning through experimentation, and I look forward to seeing what the students create,” said Maylska.
While the district offers a STEM-based curriculum focused on content, events like STEAM Day, said Ryan, are geared toward ‘addressing the curiosity of young children.’
“Kids are so curious at a young age and this is a really fun way to expose them to areas that might otherwise be really challenging,” said Ryan, adding that the overall goal is to show that STEAM isn’t a difficult thing, ‘but something enjoyable than can be incorporated into the class and curriculum at any time.’
“This day is designed for our students to enjoy, but the hope is that this introduction to various STEAM topics will provide a springboard for our future engineers, mathematicians and scientists,” Ryan said.
Malyska added, “Our hope is that STEAM Day will be as fun for the teachers as it is for the students.”
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