Leading with the art in STEAM is a phenomenal way to engage elementary students early on and build their interest over time. Makerspaces can be especially inviting and creative areas that enable students to broaden their learning, explore multiple content areas simultaneously, and engage in new creative technology.
Lancaster Mennonite School (LMS) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is a private Christian school that helps students of diverse abilities and interests be all they can be. LMS services 1,000 students across three campuses. STEAM topics are part of the curriculum, but much of the hands-on work in elementary school comes from a source you might not necessarily expect -- the art department!
Jenna Longenecker is LMS’s third-year art teacher and was instrumental in creating a makerspace that incorporates a variety of tools, including littleBits.
“It's so exciting to see students make connections between art and technology and math (seemingly very different subjects). I generally think of art as a more expressive and emotional subject, so it's really exciting for me to see students using logic (in the form of degrees and algorithms) to create geometric shapes and patterns through coding and robotics,” said Jenna.
Learn more about the approach LMS took by reading the full case study.