story, science, technology and creativity

STEAM teaching ideas for your classroom

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Time is precious. So if you just want the STEAM Teaching Ideas download, here it is.

Is it okay if I….?

Can I….?

What are we supposed to do…?


I work with thousands of students every year, and most of them are terrified of making a mistake. They think there’s only one answer: the correct answer.

But the world doesn’t work like that. Otherwise there’d be a perfect way to be a parent. And a correct way to be a teacher. And the right way to solve climate change. And guess what? There’s no right way, suckers.

Instead, we need to invent an imperfect way, try it out, learn from our mistakes, then try to improve.

That’s where creativity comes in.

Research shows that students who learn to think critically and creatively also engage better in the classroom. Creative kids = fewer issues with behaviour management AND more engaged learners.

But with so much squeezed into the curriculum and into our daily lives, it can seem like there’s no room for anything more.

Instead, we spend time training kids to memorise spelling and times-tables.

Is that the right answer?

Creativity is an essential skill for the future.

Science is just curiosity by a different name. Science is being allowed to try and fail, then try again.

Science is setting out to answer a question, enquiry-based learning, imagination, creativity, resilience, teamwork, making something out of nothing. Basically, it’s totally awesome.

A *huge* part of STEAM education — and science — is giving students the space to engage. Loosening the reins, allowing mistakes to occur, setting kids off on a guided adventure where the destination may not be one you’ve ever been to. This requires courage and trust and the support of those around you.

Because STEAM education isn’t about churning out perfect.

It’s about learning. And learning how to learn.

I’m not an expert in STEAM education. I’m still learning, every day, every workshop, every student. I’ve spent 20 years as a science communicator, which is all about providing students with opportunities to be curious. And I’ve spent the last three years team-teaching in schools across Perth as part of the Creative Schools program, which is all about teaching creative habits of mind.

And I want to learn more!

If you’re experimenting with STEAM in your classroom, I’d love to hear from you.

If you want to dip your toe into some practical ideas for trying STEAM in your classroom, I’m presenting an online STEAM education PD as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival.

If you want a list of brainstormed ideas for STEAM projects that link to my books, you can download it here.

And for more teaching and creativity resources from the Creative Schools program, check here.

Author: cristyburne


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