What is STEAM? Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.
In addition to the 21st century, innovative and hands-on instruction provided by Brookside teachers in each classroom, Brookside’s STEAM Initiative currently encompasses a variety of wonderful enrichment programs sponsored by the Brookside PTA and the Oak Park Education Foundation. The programs highlighted below enhance our students’ interests outside of the classroom and promote our district’s mission statement of educating compassionate and creative global citizens by fostering collaboration, creativity, ingenuity, and character development, and developing 21st-century skills that are engaging and vital to our children’s success.
PTA-SPONSORED STEAM PROGRAMS
SCIENCE FAIR & FAMILY SCIENCE NIGHT
The Brookside PTA sponsors an annual science fair that offers students a chance to explore a chosen area of science and demonstrate what they have learned using the scientific method. This year, the science fair will be held in conjunction with our family science night which offers a fun evening filled with learning activities to bring the family together.
Our computer program is funded by the Brookside PTA and is led by our computer specialist, Mrs. Jan Rosen in our 21st century Computer Lab equipped with brand new iMacs loaded with all new programs - complete with the Microsoft Suite (Word & Power Point) and the iMac programs we love, including iPhoto & iMovie.
Beginning in Kindergarten, they use programs that focus primarily on mouse control and letter recognition. These skills build in First Grade where the kids are introduced to Microsoft Word. In Second Grade students are able to use Word and they are introduced to Power Point and begin the use with the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and how to safely and effectively use the Internet for knowledge growth and development. Third Grade opens up a whole new world for the students! They are familiar with sentence structure and proper word use and can use that to make complex projects come to life! We use Power Point, Word, Keynote, Pages and the Google Apps to really bring technology to life! In Fourth & Fifth grade the students are very capable on the computer. They know how to type, they know to to use the internet for research and they can make their choices on all of the programs we have learned to complete their projects. Ask them what they have learned in the computer lab; you will be amazed!
LUNCHTIME ENRICHMENT- programs supported by our PTA are offered to Brookside students as a supplement to the traditional lunchtime activities. STEAM lunchtime enrichment options include: CReATE Art, the LEGO Buildzone, and littleBits. These options offer all students hands-on, creative STEAM learning opportunities during lunchtime via an optional, drop-in program.
- CReATE Art at Brookside (Tuesdays)
Brookside PTA has partnered with CReATE Art in Westlake as part of their Create on Your Campus (COYC) program to bring our students the opportunity to exercise their creativity by using recycled materials to create! Students can drop in and “revel in our fun and funky DIY art area geared towards creative exploration through open-ended art. Enjoy a wide array of recycled, artistic and crafty materials, all available for use.”
- LEGO BUILDZONE (Fridays)
Students simply love the projects they build each week with different LEGO bricks and elements. Our BuildZone promotes teamwork, cooperation, patience, and problem solving skills.
- littleBITS (Fridays)
New this year! Brookside now has littleBits, funded in part by a grant awarded to Brookside through Northrup Grumman’s National Engineers Week STEM grants program which provides individual grants of $300 each to teachers in local schools to fund projects that promote STEM education and awareness. Just as LEGO allows you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are small, simple, intuitive, blocks that make creating with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together. littleBits makes an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. The winner of countless awards from Popular Science, Crain’s, Maker Faire and more. littleBits consists of tiny circuit-boards with specific functions engineered to snap together with magnets. No soldering, no wiring, no programming, just snap together for prototyping, learning and fun. Each bit has a specific function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, motors, etc), and modules snap to make larger circuits.
LUNCHTIME LIBRARY BOOK CART (Tuesdays and Fridays):
Borrow a book during your lunch break; sit near the cart and enjoy a book alone or share a book with a friend. Books must be returned at the bell and selections will update.
BROOKSIDE GARDEN & EARTH SCIENCES EXPLORATORY
Brookside is fortunate to be part of a district-wide garden instruction program linked to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, delivered by a team of school garden instructors from 2eden design.garden.grow (and led by our own Brookside parent volunteer and Garden Chair, Debra Leith). This program is funded by the District with certain materials and supplies funded by your PTA. The Brookside Organic Garden is a wonderful model of our District-wide initiative to develop organic and sustainable gardening while offering an outdoor classroom environment for classes to utilize. Complete with traditional garden beds, non-traditional tower garden, and worm composting bins, the garden serves as an invaluable backdrop for learning. We love our outdoor classroom! To read more about our amazing garden program, click HERE.
HOUR OF CODE
Brookside is proud to participate in the global Hour of Code movement! The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. It is designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. With the Hour of Code, computer science has been on the home webpages of Google, MSN, Yahoo! and Disney. Over 100 partners joined together to support this movement. Students in each grade level (even our youngest Discovery Kindergartners) will be coding with Mrs. Jan Rosen in our computer lab.
KINGSMEN SHAKESPEARE PROGRAM
The Brookside PTA funds the annual visit of the incredible Kingsmen Shakespeare Company. Students experience highly interactive workshops introducing them to Shakespeare and then are treated to a performance of an adaptation of a Shakespeare comedy.
DRAMA AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM
The Brookside PTA manages the after-school Drama program with one production each year.
Our music program is funded in conjunction with Brookside PTA. Students learn music theory and participate in grade-level performances led by our music specialist, Mrs. Amanda Benjamin. Mrs. Benjamin also runs a chorus program students may elect to participate in before school.
REFLECTIONS ARTS PROGRAM
The Brookside PTA sponsors the PTA Reflections program, a National PTA program, which welcomes all grades and abilities to explore and be involved in the arts; annually, thousands of students will reflect on a common theme and create original works of art in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
The Brookside Elementary PTA is pleased to provide funding for the Artist in Residence program for our students.
Per the Ventura County Arts Council, Artist in Residence “provides eight-week residencies by teaching artists of unique and experienced vision. Each artist is skilled in communicating and is committed to assuring every child has a successful creative experience. In addition to presenting exciting approaches to visual, dance, music and performing arts, many of the artists also bring multi-cultural and historical aspects to the classroom. This helps students gain an understanding of their own and other cultures, past and present.” Teachers select artists meeting the aforementioned parameters, including teachers from ArtTrek, Inc., an independent, hands-on, not-for-profit arts program that brings quality visual, literary and performing arts into the community.
Sponsored by the Oak Park Education Foundation:
ODYSSEY OF THE MIND (OotM) - an acclaimed international STEAM program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.
Each year students from our Brookside Tigers have put their STEAM skills into action with the support of their parent coaches.
There are five categories of problems participants can solve:
- Vehicle: involves building vehicles of different sizes that must perform specified tasks.
- Technical: involves building “innovative contraptions”.
- Classics: incorporates knowledge of architecture, art, and literature
- Structure: requires the designing and building of a structure using only balsa wood and glue, and competing to see which structure can hold the most weight
- Performance: requires the team to act, sing, and/or dance based on a given theme
Coming Soon to Brookside!
Makerspaces, STEAM Labs, and Tinker Zones - are popping up nationwide in libraries, classrooms and community centers. Students are encouraged to design, experiment, build and invent, as they deeply engage in hands-on, creative science, engineering and tinkering projects.
A STEAM Lab is not solely a science lab, wood shop, computer lab or art room, but it may contain elements found in all of these familiar spaces. They are designed to accommodate a wide range of activities, tools and materials. Diversity and cross-pollination of activities are critical to the design, building and exploration process.
We cannot run these exceptional programs for your children without your help.
If you are interested in supporting STEAM efforts either by serving in an advisory capacity on the PTA STEAM Advisory Committee or volunteering for one of these programs please click HERE.
Nathalie Gonzalez, Graphic Designer of the STEAM logo. All rights reserved