STEAM Rolls On: Faculty Professional Development
An essential part of the STEAM initiative at Villa is ongoing faculty professional development. Just prior to the new school year, teachers participated in two in-depth trainings to further elevate their understanding and skills in all things STEAM.
Eileen Patrick from FOSS (Full Option Science System)—Villa's science curriculum—conducted sessions about science investigations and incorporating Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the new and internationally benchmarked standards for K-12 education. Says Patrick, the vision of the NGSS is that "Science education will move away from an emphasis on learning facts to thinking and communicating like scientists and engineers." For example, every FOSS lesson has an embedded focus question that is both testable and answerable. She led teachers through model lessons, the importance of science notebooking (like DaVinci, Galileo and Edison!) and the expansion of our science curriculum outdoors.
A Project Based Learning and Makerspace expert, Lindsey Own, led an engaging morning around the design and implementation of PBL and STEAM activities and lessons across all grade levels. A special focus centered around how PBL and STEAM can be infused into our humanities curriculum. For example, faculty teams developed an engineering response to a literary conflict in Charlotte's Web. Last, she led an exploration about integrating newer technology like coding and virtual reality into the classroom. Throughout the school year, Lindsey will continue to work closely with Teri Rutledge, Villa's Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, to bring ongoing PBL and STEAM professional development to our faculty.