With an increasing number of international schools and preschools incorporating STEM and STEAM (and even STREAM) into their curriculums, you may be curious as to what exactly these acronyms mean, and how they’re being put into action in the classroom (or outside of it!). Here’s a sneak peek at what students at a handful of international schools and preschools in Singapore get up to each day with these programmes.
Know your acronyms!
- STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
- STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics
- STREAM stands for Science, Technology, Reading and writing, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics
Nexus International School (Singapore)
From Math lessons to drama productions, STEAM has a pivotal role in learning at Nexus International School (Singapore). In their performance of Alice, when she drank the potion to shrink, they created a video and turned Alice into a tiny hologram. Floor robots bring Math lessons to life for little learners by moving according to simple equations they key in. Spanish language learners practice their skills by pretending to be journalists and recording videos against the green screen in the Makerspace. Science and Biology students created 3D heart models that they can flow liquid through to gain a deeper understanding of blood flow through arteries and veins. Art students are able to take 2D art and bring them into the 3D realm using 3D pens and Tinkercad. After-school activity options include travelling the world through the Google Expeditions CCA, building with Lego and kinetic blocks and even building vertical garden structures using laser cutters.
“STEAM is embedded where it can enhance learning at Nexus. As an Apple Distinguished School, we believe that STEAM must be seamlessly interwoven into the curriculum, supporting learner-centric and inquiry models.” – Lee Wilson, Director of Learning Technologies
Canadian International School
STEAM at the Canadian International School is not just simply about using iPads, interactive whiteboards and teaching programming. It’s an engaging, hands-on, student-led and inquiry-based framework customised for all types of students and integrated across different disciplines. Recent STEAM experiences include projects by Grade 3 students to build workbenches for woodworking where knowledge is drawn from various disciplines such as science, mathematics and technology. Meanwhile, Grade 6 students constructed shoe benches, Grade 7 students made aprons using upcycled materials and Grade 9 students built musical instruments out of discarded materials. Each year, the schools also organises a STEAM Fair with hands-on activities for the whole and wider CIS family.
“STEAM provides an effective teaching framework for developing young learners with essential skills such as collaboration, research, problem solving, critical thinking and creativity that they need to be successful in the 21st century. We can’t be teaching our children that there is a bubble sheet answer for everything. Life isn’t like that.” – Joe Sergi, CIS Design teacher and STEAM ambassador
Kinderland offers a STREAM Through Nature programme, where children are engaged in exploration and active learning in Science, Technology, Reading and Writing, Engineering, Arts and Math. It enables young learners to develop both analytically and creatively in a three-step manner: explore, discover and apply. Lessons are created based on children’s interests; besides facilitating projects, teachers also encourage children on their learning journey. Typical activities include creating marble maze boards where children explore the concepts of gravity and its effects on various objects. Children also learn about the properties of air by making pinwheels. In addition, Kinderland has a Sound Garden where preschoolers play with musical instruments made from kitchen items such as pots and pans and explore the wonders of sound production.
“Through these activities, children develop traits like teamwork and perseverance. Working in teams, they are challenged to query, explore and solve problems together. As STREAM integrates knowledge across disciplines, it encourages children to think in a more connected and holistic way. This promotes intellectual learning.” – Ms Sharini Binte Shafie, Senior Teacher, Nursery, Kinderland Preschool @ Yio Chu Kang
Kinderland has 22 locations islandwide
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