New Bridge Middle School is S.T.E.A.M. powered. S.T.E.A.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics. Nationally, STEM education has received a great deal of attention by researchers, practitioners, politicians, and citizens. As a magnet school of science, technology, and mathematics, we have found STEM to be a good fit with our existing focus. Additionally, with a strong arts education department, we’ve incorporated the ARTS into the STEM framework.
S.T.E.A.M. provides real world relevance for our students. The S.T.E.A.M. framework provides effective and relevant connections between 21st century learning skills and how those skills are used across all disciplines. S.T.E.A.M. is accomplished by providing:
- Connections to STEM-related careers and across disciplines in order to explain core learning concepts and provide real world relevancy to 21st century learning skills.
- Performance Tasks that create a project based environment where students are challenged to solve a situation using a multi-disciplinary approach.
- Literacy Tasks to apply the knowledge defined by the curriculum to create an informational or argumentative product while using essential skills in reading and writing.
- Real-World and Immersive Simulations that create an environment in which students act as a community of scientists, technologists, engineers, or mathematicians.
- Community Involvement that allows students and teachers to collaborate with leaders in STEM fields and focus on community and global issues.
This special focus is based on our recognition that STEM education is necessary to prepare NBMS students to be globally competitive and to meet the challenges of the future. We have a shared belief that the arts are a necessary mechanism for students to learn. Therefore, S.T.E.A.M. is a framework for teaching across academic disciplines and utilizes the arts to creatively engage students and further the goals of scientific discovery and technological innovation. Researchers have also found a strong relationship between instruction in the arts and learning mathematical skills and improving student observational skills in science. Students who study music show improved spatial temporal-reasoning skills, which help in the understanding of mathematical concepts. Those who study art are able to apply the observational skills learned in art to critically view a painting or to observe a science experiment. The tools and methods utilized in art and design further our STEM goals through the development of original, creative and critical thinking.
S.T.E.A.M. in Action
- Teachers work collaboratively in all subject areas.
- Units and lessons organized around BIG IDEAS and ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS. Teachers identify INTEGRATION opportunities, the ENDURING UNDERSTANDING of lessons and units, and links to our professional teaching standards and the 21st Century goals for student learning.
- S.T.E.A.M. plans are written and recorded in teacher leasson plans.
- In the S.T.E.A.M. framework, students act as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and artists.
- Science is seen more as a journey rather than a destination.
- S.T.E.A.M. lessons immerse students in science, math, technology, and engineering.
- Science is PRACTICED by our students in a manner similar to the community of scientists.
- Core content is essential, but it only begins the process. S.T.E.A.M. lessons attempt to build upon core content knowledge and create pathways to answers.
S.T.E.A.M. Initiatives at New Bridge Middle School
- Science Ambassadors Program
- Robotics Club/Challenges
- Odyssey of the Mind
- MathCounts Team
- Algebra Competition Team
- Tier III Classrooms: All students in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th have their own laptop computers
- Green Team