Educators taking a closer look at the impact of technology on learning are observing that we need to meet students where they are—at their current level of engaging and absorbing information. Efforts pairing asset building and social-emotional learning with STEAM activities are pointing the way to educating today’s whole child.
According to EducationCloset, an online resource for K-12 educators, “STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.”
STEAM learning programs are taking root in school systems and communities across the nation, and the Remake Learning Network is making it their business to connect and support these growing efforts to harness and increase the collective impact.
Community Manager and Chief of Operations at Remake, Ani Martinez, explained that, in the beginning stages of the initiative, interdisciplinary leaders and educational innovators gathered to focus on asset building through creating connections in learning ecosystems to provide more resources to the people who need them—all over pancake breakfasts.
Tapping into stakeholders like parents, educators, artists, and librarians, the group began taking their work out of the café and into the community by building more expansive relationships that opened the doors to providing financial and technical support to promote STEAM learning initiatives across the education span.
The network now consists of over 500 organizations including schools, non-profits, foundations, museums, libraries, art collectives, and more that work to empower and support youth for lifelong learning and stronger contributions to society. For Martinez and Remake, it’s all about connections.
“I think it’s really important that we support our teachers and afterschool mentors … so our children can learn how to navigate the world in a more relevant and engaging way,” she maintained.
Putting these values and efforts into further action are showcases of learning events called Remake Learning Days. In 2018, this annual spring festival included over 270 events hosted by over 200 organizations with more than 30,000 participants. Spanning nine days, and taking place throughout Pittsburgh (PA) and communities across West Virginia, these events provided unique, hands-on STEAM learning experiences in schools, libraries, museums, community centers, and after-school programs.
Dorie Taylor, Producer of Remake Learning Days, emphasized that these youth-centered events bring families and caregivers into the room to observe what the kids are doing.
Her passion is directly related to her children. “Of all the things we did as a family last year—a spring break trip to New York City, visiting family in Europe—they said Remake Learning Days was the best thing. They got to play with and program robots and attended all these different events doing screen printing and grabbing microphones and doing fun things with their voices through soundwaves.”
Visit the above Remake links to explore upcoming events, and register for the spring 2019 Remake Learning Days. You may even choose to join the network. Full STEAM ahead!