Educators Work to Promote STEM/STEAM



April 24, 2018

It is full steam ahead for STEM and STEAM education in area school districts. That was the takeaway from the Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES Regional STEM/STEAM Committee meeting held Monday in Peekskill.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math, while STEAM adds an A for arts. Committee members from Brewster, Croton-Harmon, Lakeland, Mahopac, PNW BOCES and Yorktown participated in a “learning walk,” in Peekskill to observe STEM work by students.
 
“I was thoroughly impressed by the breadth and depth of all of the amazing STEM initiatives well underway in Peekskill,” said Dr. Lynn Allen, assistant superintendent at BOCES. “The engagement of the students and what they are learning is phenomenal. They were excited by what they were doing and they were teaching us.”

Deba August, director technology in Croton-Harmon, praised Peekskill for working to include technology in the core curriculum.

This year, area school districts have moved to increase STEM and STEAM educational opportunities across all grades. Peekskill, for example, is offering drone technology at the high school in collaboration with the Career and Technical Education Center at BOCES. Mahopac is offering mobile maker spaces to an increased number of classrooms.

Croton-Harmon is offering coding in kindergarten through grade 12 and has added non-AP computer science classes at the high school. Brewster is offering STEM electives at the middle and high schools, and is starting a Project Lead the Way launch for students in grades three to five. Lakeland has rolled out a one-to-one Chromebook initiative for select grades.
 
Janice Reid, manager of educational technology and chief information officer for Peekskill, said she was happy to have other educators visit the district.

“We appreciate the positive feedback we received from our colleagues who visited for the STEAM Learning Walk,” she said. “It was great to have them see our students engaged in their work from coding in Math, Tech and STEM classrooms; as well as composing music and creating trailers in Music Technology."