Nine elementary teachers from Tiffin City Schools were back in the classroom this week to learn how to incorporate elements of STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math – into their classrooms.
The teachers volunteered to take part in TEACH-N-STEAM, an extension of the STEAM outreach project created and coordinated by education professors Dr. Lindsey Haubert and Dr. Stacey Pistorova.
Throughout the week, the teachers participated in experiments on and off campus. ‘Berg biology professor Dr. Justin Pruneski has worked with them for two days on the properties of bacteria. For one experiment, the teachers took swabs of bacteria from some part of their bodies – think mouth, toes, skin – and placed it on petri dishes, later making an artistic image from the bacteria.
Wednesday, they worked with Tiffin City Engineer Matt Watson and Parks and Recreation Director Bryce Kuhn to take soil samples near the bridge at Hedges-Boyer Park. In addition to analyzing the samples with Justin, the teachers also studied engineering concepts related to the bridge.
The experiments have taken place each morning. The teachers then spend each afternoon lesson planning for next year.
TEACH-N-STEAM is an extension of a STEAM program the ‘Berg education professors implemented with teacher Jenny Gressman at Krout Elementary School this past school year. The participating teachers will continue to meet monthly throughout the coming school year.
Stacey and Lindsey secured a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation to cover cost of the summer program, which they hope will spur overall expansion of the STEAM program, not only in Tiffin but possibly additional school districts down the road.
“Our goal is to have this grow to include more teachers in more schools with more funding,” Lindsey said.