Friday, February 6, 2015

Picking up STEAM

So #OurSTEAMCafe has had a little bit of a pause. The space was needed temporarily to provide an accommodation for a much needed building situation. But soon that project will be complete and my S.T.E.A.M. Cafe project will be up in full swing. Looking forward to "picking up STEAM". More and more teachers have been discovering the community space feel that I tried to create. Several have started contributing: sharing ideas, some accessories for coffee and tea, ideas for inexpensive instructional tools, and better supplies. Love this team experience.

Today a district provided math professional development took place in the space. I loved hearing teachers comment about the change in the physical space. And now I so look forward to hopefully creating a change in perception and use. Perception and eye's-view can make all the difference. A little out of the box thinking can perk us up and brew up some great ideas.

During today's math professional development the lead brought in one of those wonderful Dunkin Donut's Box of Joe's. (Love those) Unfortunately, today's box didn't seem to want to pour as is. While I was preoccupied with something else, someone opened the box. Did you know the box is designed with overlapping cardboard flaps?! I didn't. In the past I have just seen it as all one piece - a Box of Joe.

But on closer inspection, the box is rather uniquely designed. Underneath the overlapping pieces of cardboard is a metalic pouch that holds the warm coffee. Since the usual tipping action wasn't working to get coffee from the pouch, the teachers applied a little "out-of-the-box" thinking. A squeezing action applied to the pouch would force the coffee out of the pouch through the spout and into their waiting coffee cups. How creative and awe inspiring for me. I had to snap a picture of the inner workings. The PD lead let me keep the remaining coffee for anyone else that might like some that afternoon. You can believe before I went home this afternoon, I cleaned out that pouch and labelled it "Keep for Engineering" with a sharpie. Do NOT throw that away. Now THAT's STEAM Ed! What a great discussion about insulation, heat, force, airflow and more do I see in our future! How are you thinking "outside-the-box"? What have you discovered lately?

Since a few months now have gone by, it was time to take stock of the items in #OurSTEAMCafe. Time to see what needs to be renewed, dusted, revamped, replaced, or replenished. So as I dusted and reorganized I snapped a few pictures of the centers I go to reorganize this week. More centers to get refreshed (still had to complete my Instructional Technology Facilitator role) soon. But here are a few photos of the S-T-and M areas.
Science Area

Technology Area (Left)

Technology Area (Right)

Math Area