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March 5, 2014

Creekside drives initiatives at full S.T.E.A.M.

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Creekside Elementary School kicked off a school improvement initiative last month to address Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (S.T.E.A.M.).

In an effort to engage students in math and science within other disciplines, Creekside held a S.T.E.A.M. Night two weeks ago to spark students’ interest in S.T.E.A.M.-related career opportunities. More than 200 students, parents and teachers attended the evening event.

“There’s so much emphasis on [S.T.E.A.M.] because everything is technology driven,” said Chris Nelson, fifth grade science and social studies teacher. “We talk about how they use science and math in their everyday lives. S.T.E.A.M. Night gives kids a chance to see what we’re studying is relevant and it gives them ideas of jobs they can take in the future.”

Representatives from Triumph Aerostructures, Thiele Kaolin Company, Georgia Power, Lockerly Arboretum, Rock Eagle 4-H Center, Stone Mountain, Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences and Georgia College art and math departments participated in S.T.E.A.M. Night to provide various activities at their booths.

“This was a great way to get the kids out, see what we’re talking about and how the world relates to these subject areas,” Nelson said. “[Representatives] talked about landforms and weather erosions and animals. Students saw water samples under a microscope, shark’s teeth, played games to see how things are built and designed, learned about the engineering of airplanes, saw examples of kaolin and learned how it’s formed and how we use it, and learned about screen printing and how to make posters and T-shirts.”

During the 2011-2012 school year, 81 percent of students of all subgroups combined at Creekside met or exceeded the standard on the math portion of the CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests), which dropped to 72 percent last year. On the science portion, 75 percent of students met or exceeded on the CRCT in the 2011-2012 academic year, which also dropped to 71 percent last year.

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