Level Up Village (LUV) is growing rapidly in New Jersey, where it is running courses at eight schools across the state this fall, including Rutgers Preparatory School, Kent Place School and Delbarton School. A pioneer in Global STEAM (STEM + arts) enrichment, Level Up Village promotes design thinking and one-to-one collaboration on real-world problems between K-9 students in the U.S. and partner students in the developing world.
Guest post by Caroline Chamberlain at Delbarton School
Today’s classes were very excited to see they had videos from their global partners waiting for them. One young man announced, “I am so cool!” The classes are starting to get the hang of using SketchUp to create items in 3D. But as amazing as that is, they are all much more interested in their video mail!
Are you looking for a way to jazz up the STEAM (STEM + arts) programming at your school? Try combining hands-on STEAM with authentic global learning. Level Up Village partners U.S. students one-on-one with peers in the developing world for meaningful cultural exchange and collaboration on STEAM projects. Students communicate with their global partners each class period via video message exchange to share their findings, learn about each other’s lives and collaborate on real-life applications of their learning.
We know STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) is important, but how do we make these subjects accessible and approachable for children? Starting early may be the key. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t wait to introduce STEAM:
“What IS this?” exclaimed Grace. Her eyes widened behind her goggles at she leaned closer to her snake specimen to get a better look. In the middle of the dissection, she had discovered what seemed to be several more little snakes, all coiled up in the abdomen. The other girls clustered around to see.
“First we thought the snake had possibly eaten another snake, but we kept looking and found more and more,” said Jennifer Beck, a teacher at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas. “We weren’t expecting a pregnant one, so we had to do a lot of Internet research, and we learned not all snakes lay eggs. Some carry their young.”
The girls were participating in Level Up Village’s Global Doctors – Anatomy as part of “DASH into Summer,” a summer enrichment program run by Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart.
Guest post by Rob Flynn at Delbarton School
At Delbarton, an all-boys Benedictine School in Morristown, New Jersey, we have been looking for global connections, but struggled with the logistics involved in this kind of collaboration. We decided to pair our 8th grade science students with an all-girl’s school, and see what happens. So far, the results have been amazing.
Our 8th graders sent video introductions to an all-girls school in Uganda yesterday. Let us just let the reality of that settle in for a moment.
Only 16% of high school students are proficient in math and interested in a STEAM (STEM + arts) career, according to the U.S. Deptartment of Education, yet eight out of ten jobs of the future are geared towards graduates in STEAM fields. We’re working hard to prepare kids for the jobs of the future, and we bet you are, too. Here are some online resources for activities you can do to enrich children’s understanding of STEAM subjects.
Level Up Village Co-Founder Neesha Rahim was one of several presenters at the e-NABLE Educators’ Exchange (e3STEAM) kickoff on August 26th. Open to the public, the virtual Town Hall was broadcast via Google Hangouts and brought together educators and 3D printing enthusiasts to celebrate the 3D printed prosthetic movement and share e-NABLE inspired ideas, experiences, curricula and best practices. Rahim discussed LUV’s pioneering global STEAM programming, including its Global Inventors/3D printing course, which has created a globally distributed network of nearly 30 3D printers and trained teachers at U.S. schools and Global Partner organizations in developing countries.
Developing Skills for the 21st Century: Children in Costa Rica Partner with Peers in Texas for Hands-on STEAM Courses
Children at Asociacion CREAR in one of the poorest areas of rural Costa Rica recently teamed up with students at a summer program in Houston, Texas, for two hands-on STEAM (STEM + arts) courses. Together, they took Global Minecraft Builders and Pied Piper Engineering with Level Up Village, a provider of global STEAM enrichment to more than 50 U.S. schools in 12 states and over 30 Global Partner organizations in 19 countries.
During each class period, the children exchanged video messages about the project they were working on with their individual partners in the other country. Though they had never collaborated globally before, the kids quickly embraced it.
Looking to inspire kids to fully engage in their learning this coming school year? Experts say that children need to tackle real-world problems and come up with creative solutions. One great way to foster this type of authentic learning is through hands-on STEM activities. Check out these resources for some ideas: