#SAMSuccess story: Making STEAM Lessons the Highlight of the Week
Customer: Shorewood Elementary, Highline School District
Teacher: Sarah Gerhardt
Grade(s) taught: 4th Grade
She uses: SAM Labs STEAM kit with SAM Studio
As an elementary school teacher, one of Sarah’s biggest challenges is getting her 4th grade students engaged with the curriculum, and making sure they understand why what they’re learning is important. Since working with SAM Labs, STEAM lessons are now the highlight of her students’ week…
Sarah on language deficits and cross-curricular learning: “In the past couple of years, I’ve had high language learner populations in my classroom. It’s been really nice that the SAM Labs lesson plans have language components to them. My favorite STEAM lesson was when I instructed the students to use transition words – and they could see how this related to their language curriculum and another lesson that day.”
On the joy of STEAM in the classroom, and maximizing her time: “What I really like about this work is that it is very high level, it is “real life”, and most of all, it’s fun. The kids are learning but not really realizing how much learning they’re doing. By integrating all of this work I don’t feel like I’m “giving up” my time. I’m maximizing my time! I think it’s also great that I’m able to incorporate coding, computer science, and even art into this work without doing an extra lesson.”
On how SAM Labs experiments have challenged gender assumptions: “So often my students see the world in terms of “for girls” and “for boys.” I have really loved the way SAM Labs has created more of a community “for us”… It’s great to see everyone valuing each others’ thoughts and contributions not based on gender.”
See Sarah’s 4th grade students shine using SAM Labs!
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Rosie is a writer and storyteller with a passion for tech and learning, with nearly a decade’s experience writing for small tech startups and large brands alike. In her free time she enjoys walks with her pet greyhound Boris, singing in a jazz quartet and making new music.