Richardson Elementary has introduced the community to a brand new learning space, the STEAMhound station. On September 22nd, a small group of administration, Richardson PTO members, and media gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony of this new, innovative space.
The Purpose of this Flexible, Mobile, & Versatile Space:
“This new space is intended to revolutionize the teaching of various subject areas by integrating technology and Computer Science into the regular curriculum. We want to combine the world of technology with the worlds of discovery, inquiry, exploration, and experimentation. This space may provide more opportunities for the exploration & discovery process to take place than the regular classroom may. We hope to help to create more independent innovators than ever before.
The STEAMHOUND Station is a collaborative and creative space where students can gather together to make DIY projects, invent, learn, and share ideas. Importantly, this space positions students as producers rather than just consumers and encourages them to learn from their own active engagement with raw materials. Above all, STEAM-based pedagogies promote important principles such as inquiry, play, imagination, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and personalized learning,” said Adrian McKay, Richardson Elementary Principal.
Behind the Idea for the STEAMhound Station
In 2018, after submitting an application Richardson Elementary received a 50,000 dollar award to launch an elementary computer science program. “Building a Computer Science is Elementary team and developing an implementation plan for computer science integration into the classrooms were the first stages. Those boxes have been checked. The next stage was to reimagine a learning space to promote the creative problem solving skills foundational in the field of computer science.
By repurposing an already existing space here at Richardson, we’ve been able to create a colorful, flexible, inviting area to spark the excitement for learning we hope for all of our children. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math and it is through a combination of skills from all of these areas that the great inventions of the universe have come to be,” said Kim Harmon, Director of Curriculum and Student Services.
The Work Behind the Project
PTO President Brandi Koering spoke Tuesday night about the effort put into the project due to numerous volunteers and a generous community. “Richardson PTO is an organization that has, year after year, worked hard to fulfill our mission as a supporting member in the education of our students. This means parents working throughout the years of their students’ attendance putting in hours of volunteer work and bringing their own personal passion to ensuring the fulfillment of our organization’s mission, only to blindly hand this successful organization on, to the parents behind them.
Richardson PTO is also the grateful benefactor of a generous community. A community that understands the importance of education and that it is often a dollar, or 15 thousand in this case, that can bring the enrichment our children need, within these walls. From members of our local business community to our neighbors. There is no doubt that education is an investment that our community embraces.
While we, your Richardson PTO of the 2020-21 school year, are the ones who stamped their approval on our brand new STEAMhound Station, it is the solid foundation built by selfless volunteers and our community we must thank and celebrate. We are in the middle of a sharp turn towards embracing computer science education, and with the help of our past and present members and our generous community, it is one Richardson PTO is proud to help facilitate,” said Brandi Koering, Richardson PTO President.
To read more about coding at Richardson Elementary, click here: https://www.fmcsd.org/2019/12/18/hour-of-code/
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