Fisher Island Day School Takes STEAM Education & Global Citizenship to the Next Level

“How do you get your water?”

That was the opening question in a video message from a young student at the Innovative Minds School in India. Masha, a U.S. student at Fisher Island Day School (FIDS) in Miami Beach, Florida, walked over the class sink and turned on the faucet. “This is how I get my water,” she said.

Then the student in India responded that many people in her community don’t have that option. In fact, she explained, getting water was quite difficult.

“It was an eye-opener for Masha,” said Lynn deAraujo a second grade teacher at FIDS.

This cross-cultural exchange was facilitated by Level Up Village (LUV), which began working with FIDS in the 2013-14 school year as part of the school’s push to increase STEAM programming. deAraujo first taught LUV’s Global Scientists during the school day to enrich her students’ study of chemistry and the water cycle. That course was so well received, FIDS then offered Global Doctors (biology) followed by Global Inventors/3D printing and Global Video Game Designers as part of the after-school program.

FIDS2kidsdissection1In Global Doctors, students learn basic anatomy and physiology through videos and the dissection of a number of specimens, such as a squid, a frog, and a sheep’s heart and brain.

“What impressed me was the fact that children were actually able to learn and visualize basic organ systems of various specimens of vertebrates and aquatic species,” said Dr. Alex Mikhailov, DDS. “The benefits of such early exposure would certainly be helpful to students of FIDS by becoming more competitive with their peers from other schools and prepare them for higher learning.”

Dr. Mikhailov, who was one of two FIDS parents who assisted with the course, was amazed to see how elementary students were able to grasp some of some of the same concepts taught in a high school or even a college biology class.

“What impressed me was the fact that children were actually able to learn and visualize basic organ systems of various specimens of vertebrates and aquatic species,” said Dr. Alex Mikhailov, DDS. “The benefits of such early exposure would certainly be helpful to students of FIDS by becoming more competitive with their peers from other schools and prepare them for higher learning.”

By partnering with Level Up Village, FIDS is also able to directly sponsor Global STEAM education in developing countries – a portion of the tuition is used to deliver the same course  to students at one of LUV’s Global Partner schools, many of whom are living on less than $2 a day.

“Level Up Village courses are the perfect way to excite young children about STEAM, as well as instill a sense of service and giving to children who don’t always have the same opportunities,” said deAraujo. “The LUV classes left the kids so excited that others wanted to join,too.  The parents loved it because it added more rigor to the Active Hours after-school program, and as a teacher I love LUV courses because the curriculum is provided, so there is not a lot of prep work.”

deAraujo, a dedicated advocate for the use of new technologies to enhance project-based learning in the classroom, will give a presentation about FIDS’s partnership with Level Up Village at the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) conference starting July 27th in Brazil.

 

FIDSGirl3Dprinter

A FIDS student watches as the design she and her Global Partner created is 3D printed during LUV”s Global Inventors course.