STEAM Updates

STEAM

STEAM Innovation

Wyomissing Area School District is actively working to create a robust K-12 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program for all students. This page will focus on providing pertinent information for faculty and parents. Please check back regularly as more information is added!

Ad-Hoc STEAM Committee:

July 28, 2017 - During the 2016-2017 school year, the ad hoc committee was formed. The committee is comprised of school board directors, district administrators and teachers. Together, the committee has discussed teacher development, curriculum, instructional practices, assessment and demonstration of skills, family engagement and real-world connections based on the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway Self-Evaluation. As a result, the committee has identified professional development for inquiry-based learning as the focus the 2017-2018 school year.

Update, September 7, 2017 - The STEAM Ad Hoc committee met on August 21st to plan the professional development for teachers, which is scheduled for September 27th. This will be the first professional development session for teachers aligned with our STEAM focus of integrating inquiry based instruction. The importance of this training is to introduce teachers to the inquiry based learning conceptual through a shared experience mode.

Update, September 29 2017 - The STEAM ad hoc teachers planned and facilitated the first professional development session held on September 27. During the session, K-12 teachers were introduced to inquiry based learning through experiencing Break-Out Boxes. In order to break out, the teachers had to communicate, collaborate, utilize critical thinking skills and demonstrate creativity.

Update, October 9, 2017 - STEAM ad hoc teachers led the district in-service day. They facilitated three workshops for teachers with an emphasis on developing teacher understanding of inquiry based instruction through an article, video and a collaborative activity and discussion. The teachers were also provided with time to meet with their grade level or department to make connections to their current practice utilizing resources currently available.

Staff Inservice - Inquiry Based Learning

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Creating the infrastructure to support STEAM:

July 28, 2017 - The District has been creating the infrastructure to support STEAM for the past several years, starting in 2015-2016, with the infusion of 1:1 Apple iPads for all students at the Junior/Senior High School. During the 2016-2017 school year, the District rolled out 1:1 Apple iPads at West Reading Elementary Center for students in math and science and full implementation for all courses beginning in 2017-2018. During the summer of 2017, the District also integrated additional technology hardware and software to support technology currently in place. The wireless infrastructure was updated throughout the district to improve connectivity at all three buildings and software licenses currently being used were upgraded. Teachers at Wyomissing Hills Elementary will participate in professional development on how to integrate the use of 1:1 student devices in the fall of 2017, with a mid-year deployment of student devices.

Update, September 7, 2017 - With our goal of creating innovation design centers in all three buildings, the computer lab at WREC has been transformed into a makerspace for student use. The room contains the STEAM materials provided by WAEF last year as well as additional donated materials. Teachers can take students to the room to utilize the space and the materials. They also have the option of signing out materials to use in their classrooms. To support the use of the materials, teachers are participating in training sessions to learn how to incorporate the materials into their instruction and resource lesson plans are also available to teachers. At the JSHS, the Computer Science department will have a follow-up meeting with AEM architects to view preliminary renderings of the STEAM wing renovations. A recommendation was made to consult with Rob Szurgot, RELATE, INC. to develop a STEAM Summary Plan.

Update, September 29, 2017 - The Computer Science department met on September 29th with AEM architects to view preliminary renderings of the STEAM wing renovations. Mr. Rob Szurgot, RELATE, Inc. presented the STEAM Summary Plan, identifying the proposed framework for the WASD STEAM program. The Summary Plan outlined the design center concept, highlighting the core areas of the proposed differentiated STEAM Program identifying:

STEAM Program Goals

Design Thinking Methodology
Curriculum
Staffing,
Facilities
Technology
Opportunities for Community Support

Update, October 30, 2017 - On October 16, 2017 - Mrs. Waxler and Mrs. Waller had the opportunity to meet with a representative from the WYO STEM Parent group. They provided STEAM planning information for the parent’s meeting on Oct. 19. On Thursday, November 2, the STEAM summary plan will be presented to a group teachers and administrators for discussion. Guidance counselors will be included in the discussion to provide input on pathways for graduation, college and career choices. After the presentation, the teachers will collaborate on the K-12 Instructional Framework which will be used to guide program development.

The request to purchase teacher and student iPads will be shared during the finance committee meeting on Wednesday, November 1. On Friday, November 3, WHEC teachers will participate in professional development focusing on the effective use of technology to support instruction. Teachers will also be introduced to instructional technology resources currently available. The WREC STEAM Design Center has been established. The committee reviewed the furniture and storage solution plan developed by Office Depot, in conjunction with WREC staff and administrators. The plan will be presented on November 1, during the finance committee meeting. On Friday, November 3, WREC teachers will participate in the next level of iPad professional development with the Apple Educators. An additional meeting with the computer science department was held on October 20 to discuss renovation plans for the STEAM Design Wing in the JSHS. Renovation options will be shared during the October 31 facilities committee meeting. The JSHS Woodshop has been cleaned and prepared for instructional, use as needed

Mrs. Waller shared the STEAM Frequently Asked Questions and STEAM Projected Timeline. These two documents that will be communicated to staff, parents and community members on Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

WREC STEAM Design Center

wrec_plan_websiteRendering of Future WREC Design Center

Update, January 29, 2018 - WHEC – iPads were ordered and delivered prior to Winter Break. Professional development sessions for the teachers have been planned for January and February. We have also scheduled a meeting with Office Depot to discuss design options for the STEAM Design Center. WREC – The furniture and storage solutions for the STEAM Design Center have been ordered, we are waiting for the shipment date from Office Depot. JSHS – STEAM Renovation was discussed during the Facilities meeting held on Wednesday, January 3. The approval to go out to bid will be on the January 8, Board agenda.

Update, February 12, 2018
WHEC – A meeting was held with Office Depot on January 25 to discuss room layout, storage,
technology needs and furniture for the STEAM Design room.   WREC – The District has received two of the three orders for the new furniture and storage solutions for the STEAM Design Center at WREC. The last shipment of the tables and chairs are scheduled to ship on March 1, barring any further delays for weather. JSHS – The architect plans for the STEAM wing have been reviewed with the teachers currently in that section of the building to ensure the appropriate placement and voltage for outlets and placement of data ports. The requested Technology and Computer Science materials and resources have been prioritized based on curricular alignments.

Update, March 19, 2018

WHEC – Office Depot has created a proposal for the STEAM Design room layout, storage, technology and furniture. The proposal will be reviewed with administrators and teachers on March 14. WREC – The new furniture and storage solutions for the STEAM Design Center at  WREC have all shipped. They will be installed on Tuesday, March 13. JSHS – A meeting was held with the Science Department teachers to discuss the STEAM Plan Science Pathway. The teachers are reviewing their current courses and the articulation for the Science/Engineering Pathway. A meeting has been scheduled for March 14, with the architect and Office Depot to discuss the room layout, storage solutions, technology and furniture needs. The technology integration teachers from all three buildings attended the Instructional Technology Professional Learning Community meeting held at BCIU on February 22. The focus for the meeting was on enhancing instructional coaching by using innovation and coaching opportunities to empower learning for teachers and students. We are also planning events to showcase STEAM, in the Spring.

Update, April 23, 2018

WHEC - Office Depot presented the STEAM Design Center Proposal to a small group of teachers and administrators. The proposal showed the design concept and product solutions with a focus on flexible classroom space with adaptability for grades K-4. The proposal will be included in the Board packet for discussion on April 9, and approval on April 23. Once approved the order would be placed immediately with delivery and installation over the summer. WREC - The furniture and storage solutions for the WREC Design Center have been delivered and installed. The room looks great and the students are enjoying their new learning environment. The committee viewed pictures of the items purchased for the center. An Open House for the Design Center has been schedule for April 26, during the 6th Grade Wax Museum, to introduce parents and the community to the new STEAM Design room. JSHS Proposal - Members of the administrative team completed the initial review of the STEAM Design Center Proposal from Office Depot. The furniture and storage solutions for this space focused on durability, storage and flexibility. The next review will be with teachers and the architect for the STEAM project. Once the final revisions are incorporated into the plan, the proposal will be shared with the board for review and approval.

WHEC STEAM Design Center

Rendering of Future WHEC Design Center

May 7, 2018

WHEC - On April 20, the Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade teachers at WHEC took part in the Apple Education introductory training session. The training emphasized how to integrate iPads into the educational environment. The teachers took part in hands-on activities and engaged with Apple educators while utilizing various applications on the iPad that will be will be used in the classrooms for creation, 21st century skill development, and collaboration.  WREC - THE STEAM Design Center open house was held on April 26, during the 6th grade wax museum. During the evening session, parents and students visited the STEAM Design Center and learned about the use of the space and resources in the room, while having the opportunity to use some of the materials available to students for instruction. Both parents and students expressed excitement for the spaces being developed for the 2018-19 school year at WHEC and the JSHS. JSHS Proposal - The demolition of the wood shop in the JSHS for the renovation for the STEAM wing, began on April 26. So far the walls, flooring, lighting and piping have been removed. The Director of Facilities will continue to provide updates as the project moves forward. The Design Concept from Office Depot for furniture and storage solutions in the STEAM wing at the JSHS, is being finalized. With the addition of the STEAM teacher at WHEC, we will now be providing STEAM instruction in each building. Our next steps include finalizing the instructional framework and sequencing for K-6 and continuing to work on the STEAM Pathways for the JSHS.  After the Pathways work is completed, we will determine if any additional staffing is needed.

RACC Summer STEAM Program Pilot
The plans for the RACC Summer STEAM Program have been finalized. RACC will run two STEAM camps for rising 8th and 9th graders. The camps are a week long and held at the Schmidt Training and Technology Center. During the camps, students will participate in a project-based learning experiences in the RACC science laboratories. The areas of emphasis will include forensics, microbiology, engineering and Bio-technology. The “A” will be integrated throughout the week as the students create presentations on their project as the culminating activity for the camp. Parents will be invited to attend on the last day to view the presentations. WAEF is partnering with the District on this pilot program by underwriting a portion of the cost for student participation.

Community Support

The Wyomissing Area Education Foundation (WAEF) has supported the STEAM efforts by providing funds to purchase materials for a Maker Space cart at West Reading Elementary and by awarding numerous teacher grants for STEAM resources at Wyomissing Hills and the Junior/Senior High School.

What’s Next?

Continue development of the STEAM Summary Plan

Establish a STEAM Advisory Committee comprised of community members, local businesses and parents.

Develop a Comprehensive STEAM Plan and Curriculum Framework

Create Innovation Design Lab at Wyomissing Hills Elementary Center 

Create Innovation Design Lab at West Reading Elementary Center

Renovate the STEAM Wing in the Junior/Senior High School