Liberty staff members will be exploring the virtues of becoming a STEAM school during this school year. STEAM (which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math) schools are generally project based and offer students a wide variety of learning opportunities and activities across the curriculum. Similar to the concept of STEM schools, STEAM schools differentiate themselves by the addition of dedicated instruction in the arts. The addition of the arts to the original STEM framework is important, as practices such as modeling, developing explanations, and engaging in critique, and evaluation (argumentation), are often underemphasized in the context of math & science education.
In addition, the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors students acquire from studying the arts have been identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and other organizations as the skills needed to be successful in the global economy. These skills include creativity and innovation; critical thinking and problem solving; communication and collaboration; flexibility and adaptability; and social and cross-cultural skills.
To that end, the Liberty PTC has generously helped the funding process for a part-time art teacher this year. Those funds, when combined with additional funds provided by grants and limited building funds, have allowed us to offer dedicated art instruction once a week to every student at Liberty School. Combined with our district-funded music teacher, Liberty students will receive exposure to a wide variety of fine arts, which is a critical component of STEAM schools.
The Liberty staff is extremely grateful for the support of the PTC as we explore the opportunities that STEAM has to offer!