Spring 2017 Impact

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Page 27 of 62

27 MakerSpaces Build STEAM for Learning By Paul Rubeo, M.S. C.A.S. As school districts across New York State devote resources to the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM), they are motivated not only by an understanding that these efforts will help prepare students for a changing economy, but also by the opportunities they can provide for teaching and learning. STEAM education engages students in an integrative approach across curricula and grade levels. It is taking shape in various ways, while simultaneously opening up opportunities for re-thinking and re-designing classroom instruction and other learning opportunities within schools. It is also building "democratized" environments where students are guided rather than directed in their learning (Halverson and Sheridan, 2014). Educators integrating STEAM are increasingly understanding the need to provide students with opportunities to create objects and artifacts as part of their learning process. Not at all new to education, this concept has roots in Deweyan constructivism and has more recently been described as "constructionism," a concept advanced in the 1980's by MIT educational technologist, Seymour Papert. Paul Rubeo is the Technology Integration Specialist in the Wappingers School District, and Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at SUNY New Paltz. "...production-based experiences are at the core of how people learn." - Harel and Papert, 1991

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