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What is STREAM? STREAM originated with the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) as an expansion of STEM. Therefore, to better understand STREAM, it helps to look at the nationwide education reform known today as STEM. In the 1990s, the National Science Foundation suggested using the acronym STEM to describe an educational movement with roots reaching back to the 1957 launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik. This event inspired a generation of innovation in technology and engineering in the United States fueled by a national determination to become a world leader in these areas. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Starting at the top levels of education, STEM has found its way into our preschools. In 2013, Heritage School embraced STEM, and the children loved it.

Education in the arts is an integral part of the development of each person. Today, however, evidence from brain research fascinates educators as the research narrows in on exactly what happens to a developing mind when a child engages in any of the Arts. Children learn through acting on their environments. Engaging in the Fine Arts help students see what they look at, hear what they listen to, and feel what they touch as they learn through hands-on experiences. Our school wants to take full advantage of the many blessings inherent in all forms of art during this exciting time in the development of children.

Coupled with this, Heritage School places high value on the assets of living with a faith in God. We believe that knowing God is the highest and deepest and finest pursuit in life, a pursuit that leads to an inexplicable satisfaction and security in who we are as individuals and within loving communities. For these reasons, Heritage School has chosen to borrow from the NCEA and adopt the acronym STREAM: Science, Technology, Relationships (with God and others), Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics.

In the end, this wonderful tool helps teachers integrate a child's knowledge and experiences in creative ways with powerful problem-solving skills across many developmental domains and multiple educational disciplines. The NCEA equates STREAM to a "...visual description of flowing waters." Let the waters flows.

 

Lorraine Lewin, Julia Wildasin

September 2106

 

through the lens of Early Childhood Education

 

Children are active learners, constantly exploring the intricate details of their world. They are constantly making connections through their senses, and reveling in their discoveries. Parents and teachers can enhance a child's love of learning by providing opportunities for them to explore, question and problem solve.

 

Children should be given opportunities to investigate an idea

in different settings and through different lenses

thereby strengthening their understanding.

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At Heritage School children document their observations through drawing and writing for a permanent review and a sense of accomplishment.

 

"I have been thrilled with the STEM program. I know my son and his class LOVED it. His teachers have a gift in making these topics not only educational but fun. He has started some interesting dinner conversations over things he has learned (solubility, gravity, life cycle of a butterfly, etc.). I have seen such amazing growth!

Heritage Parent

 

Many questions have been generated that have led to classroom research and teachers expanding their planning to more fully engage their students. It is important that 2-6 year old children have access to real, open ended materials to explore for they are still learning to tell the difference between reality and fantasy.

As children start to embrace problems rather than shutting down; the "WHAT" questions, rather than "WHY" questions....("What can we do about that?"), become an adventure in learning. Reading and writing/documenting become a natural part of the learning process, and the children are suddenly connecting the dots.

In the block area they become architects and engineers, applying their knowledge to new situations. Teachers begin to introduce new creative materials and simple machines from everyday life;.....the classroom environment has turned into organized chaos reflecting the satisfaction of true learning and inquiry.


 

Is the Play Kitchen Just a Kitchen?

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A Market (above) A Pizzeria (below)