The experience filled Warrendale’s gymnasium with activities related to all things STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Each letter in the acronym had its own station with a unique hands-on activity to apply lessons in each subject to everyday life.
One of the most visual activities included a stationary bicycle where scholars had to pedal with enough power to turn on a light bulb. The light turned on solely through the energy created from pedaling the bicycle.
Other activities included virtual reality experiences, learning about 3D printing, and digging through a small box to find dinosaur bones. Many of the stations were things you could find on a standard museum field trip.
Dean of Special Education and Intervention Kristina Smith said the idea for a mobile STEAM museum came about over the summer. She said the school was excited to bring in the event because it helped bring a unique activity into the school.
“There are ways to expose them to different things because a field experience sometimes costs a little bit more,” Smith said. “Some of them may not be able to participate in this activity because it just comes outside of the budget that the family may be able to afford. So bringing it to them gave them an opportunity to still be exposed to that versus missing out because of economic reasons.”
Scholars had smiles aplenty and got to interact with other grade levels throughout the day. The mixture of grade levels taught students about respect and integrity, Smith said. This commitment to National Heritage Academies’ Moral Focus virtues is one of many reasons Warrendale has outperformed the local district for 10 years.
Staff members even got involved, helping run many of the activities. All-in-all, the mobile STEAM museum was a success.
“It was a great bonding experience and it was great to build relationships with the kids,” Smith said.
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Warrendale Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Detroit, Michigan, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.
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