So as most people know by now, i SUCK at keeping the website up to date, it is not in my top 10 list of favorite things to do. But today was significant and I need to share.
When I started STEAMworks, i took part in the Downtown Startup competition and I was told that I did not advance to the finials because the judges though that the technical investment was going to be too much for the company to bear and that I need corporate sponsorship. Well here i am one year later and the most technical piece of equipment that I own on a laptop.
One of the core fundamentals of STEAM is problem solving and if I couldn’t figure out how to run a STEAM program without a heavy technology investment then I have no place running STEAMworks. In reality the biggest changes in our lives and all over the world today are a result of problem solving. There is a problem so someone sets out to fix it, usually without the advantage of high tech resources.
Today was pure joy for me because I got to see firsthand young problem solvers at work. The kids i worked with today were given three tasks. 1. Build a tower as tall as them using planks.
2. Build a cup structure but without touching the cups
3. Build a structure out of balloons.
I was pretty sure that the planks were going to be the favored activity, I could not have been more wrong. This morning a group of 3-8 year olds organized themselves, assigned tasks and worked together to build a balloon wall with balloons and tape. Then, this afternoon all of the girls that were at the program spent almost 2 hours using every means at their disposal to create cranes, tongs, clamps and anything else that they could think of to move the cups without touching them. There were some pretty interesting creations developed here. But more importantly there was problem solving going on, young minds seeing a challenge and then devising a way to overcome it, little girls, thinking, creating, developing, implementing and working together to generate solutions to a problem.
So, we DO NOT NEED high tech devices to implement STEAM programs. We need plastic solo cups, masking tape, balloons and children who want to work together and make things to solve problems.