The STEAM blog is now the FCS makerspace blog. Wondering why?

We started a STEAM program, and three years later, we’ve outgrown the acronym.

Here’s how it happened:

Start with design: The hated classroom chair. We asked students to redesign them. They did. They couldn’t stop. They redesigned the classroom. Then they redesigned the school.

Don’t forget robots: A mission to land a robot from the roof, drive itself across the field, and plant a flag. Fortunately the dead-weight-falling, spear-launching machine didn’t hurt anyone. It also didn’t sustain the landing, drive itself, or plant a flag. We learned a lot.

Add the “A”: A musical staircase played Carol of the Bells. Each stair played a different instrumental part of our arrangement. The whole school remixed a holiday classic in the lobby.

Build a team, build a company: An asynchronous brainstorming app won national recognition. Even after graduating, the students developed their work into a business plan.

Make media, tell stories: A student’s film received a screening at the White House. The special effects were impressive. The story it told of the future of learning was more so.

Raise the barn and cultivate a community: Then we opened a makerspace. An open door invited Literature classes to study metaphors by building physical representations of them, and students to drop in to make what they wanted, when they wanted.

And that’s how we broke the acronym. A program defined by limited academic disciplines became a community resource open to all academic constituencies. How can we open ourselves to even more learners?

The tent is never big enough.

A Bigger Tent
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