We are so proud of the rigorous, integrated and collaborative projects that our students undertake each year. Looking at these projects through the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) lens has allowed us to highlight these important subjects and their interconnected nature. At all age levels, teachers honed in on and encouraged children’s natural tendencies to ask and answer questions, take apart and build, test and record data, manipulate and compare quantities, consider aesthetics and design and apply technology in their daily lives. The result was a wealth of projects that demonstrate their growing knowledge of STEAM subjects. Here’s a sample:
Infant + Toddler Center
Our youngest students explored light and shadow using light tables, projectors, objects of varying transparency, and reflective objects like mirror and compact disks. The Guppies class created a light tunnel in their room out of cardboard and twinkle lights. Bottles filled with different liquids captivated the Harp Seals by distorting and bending light in a variety of ways.
Building was another common theme among ITC classrooms. The Jellyfish explored blueprints before joining all ITC classes in constructing ITC City: A whole-school STEAM project in the gym that featured a city grid of streets, signs, cars, bikes and neighborhood buildings all perfectly sized for small citizens. Each age group can interact with ITC City in a different way, from crawling down the main avenue to taking the first tentative pedals on a tricycle.
Construction was also popular at the Preschool. The Seahorse class built a suspension bridge and a hosted a Boat Show in their classroom, while the Rainbowfish learned about themselves as babies. The Dolphins studied jaguars, turning a corner of their classroom into a jaguar habitat built out of recycled materials.
At the Lower School, our oldest students in 4th and 5th Graders were inspired by their Social Studies work on immigration to design inventions that would make immigration safer, easier or more comfortable. Working in pairs, they created everything from magnetic levitation seats (to smooth our bumpy roads and turbulence), to a “Language ATM” that would translate words and generate a list of vocabulary for international travelers.
Meanwhile, Grade 3 students designed and tested water filters as part of a study of water use, conservation and pollution.
Kindergarten students learned how to connect LED bulbs and batteries, and installed them in models of their homes as part of their study of families.
It was a truly magical year of learning here at Williamsburg Northside, and we can’t wait to cry, “Full STEAM Ahead!” in 2016-2017!
Summer STEAM opportunities
Central Park, Prospect Park, any park at all! nycgovparks.org
Farmer’s markets and rooftop farms: grownyc.org , rooftopfarms.org , brooklyngrangefarm.com
American Museum of Natural History amnh.org
NY Hall of Science nysci.org
Science barge – fully sustainable, off-the-grid, floating urban farm.
5$ suggested donation on weekends, kids under 10 free!
Trailside Museum & Ward Pound Ridge Reservation – 4,000 acres of nature and a window into the history of Lenape people.
10$ parking/entrance fee
leashed dogs welcome!
Hallet Nature Sanctuary Open Hours – 4 hidden acres of native plant life, carefully restored and open to the public on a limited basis.
Free, see link above for days and times
Brick Fest Live at NY Hall of Science – the ultimate LEGO experience
Free w/ museum admission
The Lowline Lab – a long-term open laboratory and technical exhibit designed to test and showcase how an underground park could grow and sustain plants.
Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 5pm, October 2015- March 2017
Free and Open to the Public
Jennifer Lees, MS
Williamsburg Northside School