STEAM Education is an applied approach to learning that integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. Within our Makerspace, outdoor experiential learning classrooms and indoor classrooms, students are given the opportunity to work through the design process as they collaborate, innovate, tinker, create, build, prototype, and problem solve real world problems.
Peek into a STEAM special and you may catch children building a garden, designing a Sukkah, launching bottle rockets, creating snow, having a Dreidel challenge, or coding with Lego blocks. STEAM drives enthusiastic learning and helps students gain confidence in their abilities.
The Makerspaces at BCHA have not only revolutionized the way teachers help students solve problems, but they have also changed the problems completely. Inside our Makerspaces, students are given the space, the tools and the time to tackle problems more challenging than those found in any textbook. They are asked to come into a room chock-full of supplies and materials and become inventors, engineers, designers, and mathematicians who can solve problems they never thought possible. It enables students to think critically and effectively solve problems. These important skill sets help develop young minds for future success.
Our youngest learners have a Makerspace designed to challenge them with developmentally appropriate tools to inspire creative tinkering at its finest! In our Junior Makerspace, students have the opportunity to work with pegboard geometry, a wind tunnel, a light table, along with a variety of materials to help each child design their own creations. More importantly, our youngest makers learn how to turn failure into a learning experience and not become frustrated or discouraged when something doesn’t go as planned.
Students in our lower and middle schools are able to utilize the original Makerspace which was one of the first of its kind in New England elementary schools. In this specially-equipped space, students are provided with a vast array of raw materials, along with a 3-D printer and other advanced gadgets like Nabi BigTabs, 3-D Doodlers, Osmos, and Ozobots to help them invent, design, experiment and build.
Our upper school Engineering Lab is the home of our award-winning STEM Team which has garnered national recognition for its awards in Hackathon and CIJE (Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education) programs where their robotic designs continue to impress the judges. Our students’ innovative designs are a limitless source of inspiration for others to follow as BCHA continues to blaze trails in science and technology.
While each of these Makerspaces and Engineering labs provides a space for students to think outside the box, BCHA provides the motivation for innovation. Utilizing the Design Thinking approach, our students have created models of the Mishkan and Beit Hamikdash in Israel, and landmarks around the world. They have calculated the area and perimeter of real-life objects, constructed catapults, designed airplanes, and built electrical circuits that can turn on a light, a fan, or a buzzer. They have created robots with everything from a lo-fi tin can to high-tech remote control designs, each one more impressive than the last. BCHA continues to ignite the fire that sparks innovation and because of that, we continue to shine bright!