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Why are real-world events so important to STEAM education?

Your child’s natural desire to learn, experiment and question is fundamentally important to their education and development, so at Compass International School, we don’t give our students all of the answers. Instead, we give them some of life’s most interesting questions and challenges, and the tools to tackle them. Our aim for your child is that they learn creativity and resilience throughout their education with us. When they leave school and take their first steps into university and beyond, we want them to do so with the confidence of real global citizens. The question is, how do we teach that?

Exploring real-world challenges with STEAM

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, but it equates to more than a series of subjects. Whether in the classroom or through our extra-curricular platform Global Campus, our teaching and thinking around STEAM is the key to your child learning about their impact on the world around them and how exciting the possibilities are.

 

You will recall that from a young age your child began to explore their surroundings and from there their perspective grew. STEAM takes this natural curiosity which students have as young learners in early years and primary, through to their teenage years in secondary school, and builds on it with a contextualised, skills-based approach to teaching. It encourages the natural instincts your child has for learning about where they are, how things work as they do, and why it matters, and asks them to apply that curiosity to solving real-world challenges.

 

Our exclusive collaboration with MIT

Underlying our STEAM education is our exclusive collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This relationship with MIT brings opportunities to our students which go far beyond their curriculum and the classroom. Your child might participate in our new MIT Abstracts series which gives them access to lectures with MIT professors, learning about what they are researching and the impact it will have on our lives, take on classroom or special at-home science challenges like our new Home Labs series, or even visit the MIT campus. The objective behind all MIT teaching is for students to understand and identify a real problem, and collaboratively take on the challenge of finding a solution to it - truly putting their creativity to test.

 

Our most recent STEAM challenge

In school, we set themed challenges each term which relate to real world events so that students can contextualise what they learn. Most recently, for example, our theme has been space. In an exciting opportunity for students at Compass and their peers around the world, students were set a challenge by Dr Jeff Hoffman, five times astronaut and MIT professor, who developed the filtration device on a spaceship headed to Mars. Students were asked to develop their own filtration device, guided by the esteemed professor, and later enjoyed a ‘landing party’ as they watched the Perseverance land on Mars and created their own landing mechanisms to celebrate.

 

STEAM for young children

From our youngest years through to our oldest students, the role of STEAM is to teach core subjects by contextualising them. Forest School is an example of how we engage our early years students with the world around them. The Forest School is an interactive activities hub on Global Campus which shares engaging, outdoor tasks with our early years students each week. The aim of these activities, like town and city scavenger hunts, or nature walks, is to encourage young learners to begin engaging with the environment around them so that they can later understand their role within their local community, and beyond, and how they can make a positive impact on it.

 

Global citizenship in the community

We believe that the full value of STEAM is not just in the classroom, but in getting out into the local community. This can be put into practice in lots of different ways. We may ask our students to identify an issue, like a lack of recycling infrastructure, and find a solution to it, for example. Going further afield, our students also all have the chance to attend citizenship expeditions, such as taking part in sustainable development and construction programmes in Tanzania.

 

Discover more

Whether at home or abroad, STEAM learning provides amazing experiences which teach our students about what being a global citizen really means. For more on how we teach STEAM, please visit our Our Approach to STEAM page or get in touch with our admissions team.

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