CSO STEAM Team present at NHSA Parent and Family Engagement Conference

NEW ORLEANS, La. — Community Services Office STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Team presented at the National Head Start Association’s 2023 Parent and Family Engagement Conference in New Orleans the week of Dec. 4-7.

NHSA’s annual Parent and Family Engagement Conference is the only national event focused on enhancing collaboration between Head Start parents, families, and staff to promote family engagement and children’s development. The conference explores new resources and ideas on early childhood development and addresses the needs of children, families, and staff in Head Start programs.

STEAM education is gaining prominence as a crucial shift from traditional teaching methods, focusing on preparing students for future jobs that are yet to exist. The imperative lies in creating dynamic and relevant learning environments, breaking away from the confines of traditional classrooms. The goal is to integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and the Arts to foster a more holistic and interdisciplinary approach to education.

Recent research supports the positive impact of STEAM on student achievement and teacher efficacy. A 2016 study demonstrated that students in high-poverty elementary schools, after just nine hours of STEAM instruction, showed improvements in physical science learning. Another study from 2014 emphasized the connection between STEAM and literacy, showcasing positive effects on cognitive development, literacy, and math skills. Furthermore, a 2014 study revealed that integrating theater arts into language arts curricula led to better performance in both math and language arts.

However, successful implementation of STEAM requires understanding its core components. It is not merely about combining subjects but involves intentional connections between standards, assessments, and lesson design. True STEAM experiences demand the simultaneous teaching and assessment of two or more standards from STEM and the Arts. The heart of STEAM lies in inquiry, collaboration, and process-based learning, with a crucial emphasis on leveraging the integrity of the arts for an authentic STEAM initiative. As education evolves, STEAM emerges as a promising approach to break away from traditional paradigms and prepare students for the complexities of the modern world.

CSO teaches STEAM through various activities that engage its Head Start Students. One of the most recent activities is learning about collisions by bowling at Central Bowling Lanes in Hot Springs, Arkansas.