Station Ideas You’ll Want for Your STEAM Classroom
Some STEAM educators do it organically.
They have a sixth sense about how to design and implement STEAM classroom learning centers. These educators are brilliant when thinking up centers that their learners can’t wait to use. Learners are involved in explorations that spark curiosity, and the excitement of learning is palpable.
The classroom is abuzz with on-task conversation, and none of the learners are off-task. To top it off, the educator is relaxed and facilitating learner learning. This is the kind of environment and culture you’d like in your own classroom.
What if creating classroom learning centers for STEAM was easier than you realize?
Learning centers are not in education, but STEAM activities have revitalized a traditional classroom staple of instruction. Young kids especially benefit from STEAM learning centers. They are inventors and explorers who want to figure out how things work.
All learners can benefit from STEAM learning centers, and these are a sample of what’s available in the classroom.
There are plenty of easy-to-make centers like the Tinker Workbench that will have your learners focused on fun projects. To attract the inventors and tinkerers in your classroom, collect items that can be connected like nuts and bolts, caps and lids, and basic tools. You probably have some of the supplies at your house. Collect the odd bits and pieces you find and place them in an assembly box. Ask your learners to build creative models or machines.
Like the Tinker Workbench, an Energy Workstation allows learners to explore how electricity works. Learners can configure wiring to send an electrical current to devices with an assortment of batteries, wires, light, or bells from which to choose. Add in tiny solar panels, wind power, and hydraulics to let learners compare various power sources.
Write All About It
The writers in your class will need an area to reflect on what they have learned by writing. Encourage learners to maintain an interactive notebook or provide them with paper to insert in their notebooks. At your Writer’s Center, make available plenty of markers, colors, stickers, sticky notes, and whatever else your STEAM learners need to record their observations.
Any STEAM learning center can be adjusted for the age and interests of the learners involved.
The Benefits of STEAM Learning Centers
Learners who actively make are more likely to remember what they’ve learned. STEAM Learning centers also encourage the development of the whole kid by teaching social and emotional awareness. The most benefits include:
· Relaxation in a stress-free environment
· Learning from failure
· Development of self-regulation skills
· Making learning connections
· Acquisition of collaborative skills
Educators can implement STEAM learning centers in any class. Develop protocols for center use. Select an area for the center, explain the center’s purpose, and then keep it stocked. Then be amazed at the discoveries your learners make.