Quatama’s vision is to provide real world learning through STEAM, using effective teaching strategies, arts integration, engaging families, and English language development strategies while engaging the hearts and minds of Quatama students. Quatama’s theme is Sustainability through STEAM. We have partnered with the Right Brain Initiative for six years and teachers are continually using arts strategies to integrate science, technology, engineering, and math. We use arts strategies as a basis for improved instructional practices that engage students in a creative process which builds connections to other subject areas. Allowing students to experience and participate in creative processes using movement, drama, or material art allows the brain to begin making connections to logical thinking in a more creative way. http://therightbraininitiative.org/
STEAM practices automatically create a new kind of learning for all our students. What does this look like at Quatama? Imagine walking through classrooms and seeing students having hands on experiences with real world tools. They are working collaboratively in groups, each with a role such as: engineer, project manager, designer. All of them are working together to solve complex, challenging problems that are relevant to their lives and studies. Imagine students having conversations with each other that reflect thoughtful thinking and processing of ideas. Imagine students using different technologies to research information to support their findings, creating visuals, and applying applications to further explain and share their work. Take a stroll outside, to join our investigators in the outside world, exploring nature more deeply. See students using binoculars and magnifying glasses to discover and observe more deeply nature’s hidden workings. Imagine conversations about how to be responsible citizens with our limited resources. Imagine teachers mentoring with partners in the community to provide deeper, more meaningful lessons for their students. Watch as teachers take on the role of facilitator, not authority figure, to students deeply engrossed in their studies. Stop by after school and listen as teachers share and assess student work, create and plan STEAM lessons together, constantly working on ways to engage students and give them opportunities to go deeper in their studies. Imagine school hallways filled with parent volunteers and community members all here to support students on projects or mentor students for the science fair, or lead and participate in after school clubs.
We are a school looking ahead to meet workforce and societal needs for the 21st Century, we recognize that students must also learn the essential skills for success in today’s world, such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration, often referred to as 21st Century Skills. Implementation of 21st century skills requires the development of core academic subject knowledge and understanding among all students. Those who can think critically and communicate effectively must build on a base of core academic subject knowledge. We will build this foundation, with the necessary support systems—standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development and learning environments— to keep students more engaged in the learning process and graduate better prepared to thrive in the global economy of the future.
Quatama has had the privilege of working with some amazing organizations.
Portland Metro STEM Partnership http://pdxstem.org/ has provided a large amount of support for Quatama, which has allowed us the opportunity to grow into the STEAM school we are today. The Oregon Zoo http://www.oregonzoo.org/ has been an important partnership with Quatama since we began our transition to becoming a STEAM school. Alison Heimowitz has been a part of three years of successful salmon raising, and has led professional development with teachers in the life sciences.
Intel has graciously provided monetary support for Quatama, which has allowed us to purchase materials and curriculum for teachers to use with students so they are teaching to the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards http://www.nextgenscience.org/) which were adopted by Oregon in 2013. Intel volunteers have also been in the building helping in classrooms, and providing lessons to classes on the manufacturing process similar to Intel, exposing students to what it is like to be a part of a team responsible for goods to be created, while having quotas to meet, deadlines, and recalls.
Ron Spendle, a master gardener and mason bee expert, is working with our second grade classes, teaching them about the care and raising of mason bees.
We have a community garden plot generously provided to us by Sonrise Church and City of Hillsboro. This allows our students to get out and experience a wide range of nature. They can grow and study plants, look at decomposers and the work these creatures do to help plants, watch birds flying by, check in on the mason bees, and do a little garden care. Laika http://www.laika.com/ has been in to talk with 6th graders about creating stop motion pictures. We have also been generously supported by the Hillsboro Schools Foundation http://hsfonline.org/.
We can’t thank our partners enough for all of the support and help that they have given to us on a regular basis.
BBC-SCIENCE (this website has lots of cool videos on all topics)
all things science
Bill Nye the Science Guy on you tube-might be a good hook but not necessarily the whole episode
A special thank you to our friend Dakota who found this resource on simple machines: