Just as the weather cools, things started heating up in the Duluth Cluster for an event in which schools, the City of Duluth, and others in the arts community came together to celebrate STEAM… that is, the wonders of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)
On Oct. 13, students from the seven cluster schools— Duluth HS, Coleman MS, Duluth MS, Berkeley Lake ES, Chattahoochee ES, Chesney ES, and Harris ES— showcased their Project-Based Learning (PBL) projects on the Duluth Town Green for the evening event. The grade-specific projects gave the students an opportunity to show their learning to reflect the first nine weeks of the district’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Projects showed mastery of science and mathematics concepts with humanities and arts woven into each display.
Community members were invited to take part in the STEAM Festival where they could see a range of student projects, such as:
- Tiny home models that use at least 10 conservation strategies to save energy and take into account their global location;
- Prototype instruments from different cultures, all designed using sound waves and wave properties;
- Variations of Rube Goldberg machines, those zany and complicated inventions designed to solve a simple problem (think the old game, Mousetrap);
- “Petri dish art” that uses bacteria growth and “kill zones” to create artistic effects;
- Boats designed to withstand wind and mass; and
- Modes of transportation created to use air, water, rail, or road to move goods from one location to another.
Kid-friendly and interactive displays also were sponsored by community groups, companies, and individuals, demonstrating how everyday items can be used in imaginative and innovative ways, including:
- Quick-freeze ice cream that takes advantage of the freezing properties of nitrogen;
- A Cryptography Treasure Hunt around Town Green from Georgia Gwinnett College;
- The opportunity to “make” a brain with model kits; and
- Arts and crafts, 3-D printing, and an Art Walk featuring the works of local artists.