Originally Published: November 16, 2015 6:01 a.m.
Granite Mountain School has been transformed from a middle school to Prescott Unified School District's (PUSD) fifth- and sixth-grade campus, but the school has continued to move full "STEAM" ahead with their curriculum.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. STEAM-based learning involves the integration of STEAM concepts into core subject matter learning in order to deepen student understanding and create real-world relevance in their learning. While studying a specific topic, students interactively explore how it relates to a variety of disciplines. This interactive approach allows students to begin to appreciate subjects like math, social studies, language arts and science in meaningful ways.
Granite Mountain students celebrate their learning by hosting quarterly STEAM nights throughout the school year. The school celebrated their first STEAM night on September 30th. Over the course of the evening, students and families had the opportunity to explore hands-on STEAM activities, experiments and games through student-guided center activities. Students explored the effects of water in color and absorption, built complex structural models and problem-solved challenging puzzles.
Sixth-graders will host the next STEAM night from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, with an Egyptian Museum. Students, parents and the community are welcome to view the Egyptian projects that students have spent numerous hours researching and creating, both in and out of the classroom.
In order to prepare for this evening, students had to select a topic related to ancient Egyptian history. They were then required to generate five focus questions to help refine their research. Throughout the process, students have used technology and other classroom and library resources to guide their investigation. In the end, students will showcase a hand-made artifact connected to their topic and an informational visual aid in the form of a poster board or Chromebook presentation.
AZ Science Center will also be on campus during this evening with Science of Wheels Family Night activities. The implementation of STEAM at Granite Mountain has been made possible through the support of a grant through the AZ Science Center. This is the second year that the Center has provided training, support and coaching for our teachers as they have learned to put a greater emphasis on project-based learning in their classrooms.
This STEAM event will culminate with a presentation of the "arts" in the first-ever fifth- and sixth-grade Granite Mountain band and orchestra concert at 7 p.m. More than 200 students participating in these music programs, will perform in this concert.
Students, families and the community will be immersed in Granite Mountain School's STEAM on Wednesday night. Please join us!