STEAM Learning Adds a Hands-on Component to Classrooms



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“Children typically respond better to hands-on and themed activities.”


According to Karen Heitlinger, chair of the Center for Early Childhood at The Music Settlement in Cleveland, and Yoel Schwartz, principal, general studies at Hebrew Academy of Cleveland in Cleveland Heights, schools are accommodating these trends by adding STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education to their classrooms.

“There are many reasons why we are investing so much energy in this format of teaching,” Schwartz said. “In short, our goal is to prepare students for an unknown future of what skills and requirements will be needed to be successful.”


At the Music Settlement, in the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, STEAM is incorporated throughout all classrooms as well as the curriculum.


“STEAM ignites aspects of the brain that are unique but essential for networked or connected learning,” Heitlinger explained. “To be able to engage, then to articulate the experience or the result, or to draw. … This further makes hardwired connections in learning and the brain. STEAM is full foundational learning, not science specific.”


Selecting a STEAM learning opportunity comes down to one’s comfort with “messiness.”


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