It was full steam ahead for kid’s education at Sayéik: Gastineau Community School during their hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math event aimed at enriching children’s experiences in various professions.
Sayéik: Gastineau Community School hosted its STEAM event on Thursday, which reading and equity specialist Catherine Schleck said that within the district, the event was the firs of its kind to take place during the school day.
“When we do events after school, you rely on the parents getting their kids here and we have a lot of students who are bussed in and they don’t always have that access, maybe their parents work later, so we don’t get as much of a turnout that we would get during the school day,” Schleck said. “We’re excited that all of our students have been able to participate and have access to this event.”
Elizabeth Brennell, a second grade teacher, said the aspect of STEAM she most appreciates is that kids are given an opportunity to unlock their curiosity simply by being exposed to different activities and different professions.
“We’ve got people here from NOAA, people here from Hecla mining, and ADF&G, Discovery Southeast, SHI, and they’re all introducing children to their professional specialty and so these kids are getting a chance to work and talk to experts in their field and learn more about it,” Brennell said.
Over a dozen different booths were set up throughout the Sayéik: Gastineau Community School gymnasium for students to visit. Each booth included a hands-on instructor guided activities all focused around technical learning. Schleck said the school is grateful for all of the professional volunteers and as teachers intend to continue to host STEAM events during school hours in the future, Gastineau staff always welcomes ways to partner with the community.
“If you have a specialty in any of the STEAM fields, the entire school district is looking for opportunities to partner in that way and expose those kids to different career fields and just different ways of thinking and problem solving, which is what these types of activities help them do,” Schleck said.
Brennell added: “It’s been a great turnout. We couldn’t believe the number of people who have volunteered during a work day to come and spend the day with kids. Especially with how nice it is outside right now, people are choosing to come and spend time with kids instead of being outside, so it’s just been really exciting and awesome to see.”
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