Science Technology Engineering Mathematics
World of ABC Waldo School believes in the importance of integrating science, mathematics, the arts, research and technology into the entire school curriculum and philosophy. Beginning with our emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) and extending into our units of inquiry and extracurricular activities, students are immersed in each of these domains throughout their entire school day.
Students first spend time throughout the week in our STEAM laboratory and Maker-Space. Teachers also use an inquiry-based approach to instruction in the lab where students are encouraged to ask questions, develop testable hypotheses, investigate data, make connections to previous learning, engage in discussions with peers, and reflect on their own learning. Our teachers are also trained to facilitate both collaborative and independent projects investigating topics in engineering, robotics, mathematics and computer science. Students are given opportunities to explore the scientific principles behind each of these major domains in a hands-on and integrative way that makes science and mathematics exciting for each student. In addition, students are able to express their creativity as they apply scientific principles and processes to work on independent research projects.
Our lab is outfitted with the most current and innovative equipment to create an immersive learning and creative experience for each student. The lab includes more popular equipment such as interactive whiteboard technology, 3D printers and scanners, individual Chromebooks, and classroom iPads. We also boast more current and creative tools such as Little Bits and MakeyMakey electronic and circuitry invention kits, programming robots such as Sphero and Wonder Workshop Dash and Dot, and Lego and Knex building materials.
Our school also encourages the sharing of projects with our larger school community through periodic ‘maker’ exhibitions. Families come together and students share with parents the process behind the projects they have been working on throughout their time in the lab. Students share with parents the process of planning a project, choosing appropriate equipment, troubleshooting problems, and communicating what they have learned, instead of just the finished product. The school community is thus an integral part of vision to create a STEAM-infused school environment.
Within the classroom, students research into six transdisciplinary units of inquiry each year under the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. Each unit explores topics that are relevant, engaging and significant to the students studying them. Our students do not just learn science, mathematics and the arts but also how to harness these disciplines as tools to inquire into their own worlds. Students are thus able to see themselves as ‘scientists’, ‘mathematicians’ and ‘artists’ and use the same thinking methods and approaches that leading contributors in these fields also utilize. Students are given opportunities every day to actively use the critical thinking and research skills needed to succeed in an increasingly technology-driven world.
World of ABC Waldo School is also unique in that we place equal emphasis on art education for students of every age level. We believe art classes teach the important risk-taking and problem-solving skills that students need to be innovative in the traditional science and mathematics fields. Students of all ages are immersed in visual and musical arts classes each week, where students are able to express themselves in new ways. In addition to art classes, students are also able to participate in extracurricular classes after school hours, including photography club, ballet and musical theater. Similar to our maker exhibitions, students are also able to showcase their artwork in art exhibitions throughout the year. The entire school community thus is able to share in each student’s designs and successes.