NORTHBOROUGH – STEAM was the name of the game at STEAM Night at Peaslee Elementary School on March 16.
“We just wanted to have a fun night for the families to come and interact with the teachers and the kids,” said librarian Clare Kelsey.
Kelsey leads digital literacy classes with the students, which includes coding and code.org. This students get excited for their coding lessons, which in turn, inspired Kelsey to want to showcase some of the things the students learn to their parents.
“We have parent conferences, we have nights where families can come in, but sometimes they don’t get to see the fun things that we do, especially around STEAM,” she said.
STEAM is short for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. STEAM is the way this generation is heading in terms of jobs and careers, Kelsey said.
People may argue what the “A,” representing art, was doing in the word STEM, she said.
“I think the ‘A’ is really important, especially for the younger kids because you can use technology to create things, but also your creativity is part of understanding all of the other parts of the STEM,” Kelsey said.
Plus, she said it’s beneficial for every student to have a way to shine.
“I have students that struggle with reading, but when you put them on code.org, they are flying through coding lessons. Their little faces are lighting up, and they are so excited [because] they feel successful,” Kelsey said.
She continued, “Not everyone is successful at every single subject here at school, but when you open them up to different things like technology-based things or art-based things, then someone feels successful.”
Peaslee held a STEAM night several years ago, and Kelsey said it was a success.
Since the last STEAM night, Peaslee has gotten several new items, including the Imagination Playground blocks and code.org.
All on board, Peaslee staff members jumped in, formed a committee and began planning the event in December. According to Kelsey, the event featured activities from every letter of STEAM.
This included science experiments, coding, scribble bots, makerspace, math carnival games and Imagination Playground blocks.
The event also included volunteers made up of the Algonquin Regional High School robotics team and Science National Honor Society students.
Even though the night had just begun when Kelsey talked with the Community Advocate, she noted that the students were excited to show their parents what they were learning and meet the Peaslee staff.
“It shows the love of the school, and I believe that we are truly a community,” Kelsey said. “We all work together, we all care about these kids so much that we’re giving up our time tonight to be here.”