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STEAM: STEM + THE ARTS

Villa is devoting $1,000,000 to a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) initiative, an important component in elevating our already strong curriculum.

In the face of rapid technological change, we know that our students need to think freely across disciplines, engage with difficult real-world questions, and collaborate in designing solutions. These skills are needed for the jobs of tomorrow.

The foundation for integrating STEAM subjects into our curriculum is Project Based Learning (PBL). This is not simply "doing projects". PBL involves in-depth inquiry across a range of subjects, forming driving questions and challenges, basing learning on rigorous standards, and making important connections. Students must be able to revise work based on critique, and demonstrate mastery through public presentation of their acquired knowledge.

Villa has had a head start on PBL through our many years' focus on what we call Today's Critical Literacies. Through the STEAM initiative, we are expanding our program even further and providing the essential components to prepare our students for the future.

Our STEAM Initiative is about more than creating a "makerspace" or adding robotics classes, important as those may be. Supporting STEAM integration is a careful curricular approach led by our Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment. She is working to develop, in concert with faculty and administration, new class offerings, technology tools and equipment, and the best academic spaces for today's learners.

Logo for STEAM, Outdoor Education, and Project-Based Learning