A head of school recently emailed because her school is starting a STEAM Studio and she wanted some advice on beginning the program. Here is what I wrote to her. Maybe it can help some others:
My advice is to start by coming up with a few skill-building projects that are open enough so that students can tailor them to whatever they are passionate about but focused enough that there are some existing resources (ie Make Magazine or Instructables) to help them be as self guided as possible. Don’t try to assign the same project to everyone in the class. It’s essential that the students are working on projects that are personally meaningful to them. Don’t get too wrapped up in the “solving real world problems” with “design thinking” trend. Encourage whimsy and imagination in their projects. Give the students as much time as possible to explore and tinker with their ideas and materials. Read “Invent to Learn” if you have not already.