Dream STEAM Lab at Rayzor

Dream STEAM Lab at Rayzor

by Susan Neuhalfen

Two teachers at E.P. Rayzor Elementary had a vision.

Teacher and Librarian Melissa Leonard and Art Teacher Carleen Michener wanted to create an area at the school where they could keep up with technology advancements for the students without having to spend a lot of money each time something changed or needed to be updated.

Instead of sitting on their hands and waiting for the money to be allocated they co-wrote and applied for a grant to set up this space. The grant was recently awarded by the Denton Public School Foundation (DPSF) through funds donated by the CoServ Charitable Foundation. Now Leonard and Michener can set up their STEAM Lab.

“Living in a world where technology is constantly changing, we envision a space that can easily be adapted for every grade level in the school,” said Leonard. “We also want it to encompass different interests that the students may want to explore,” said Leonard.

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The room they were given was full of old computers which they have now cleared out and one wall removed. The next step is to paint the room and fill it with furniture and materials for the students.

The STEAM room will be a flexible learning environment perfect for student-led learning. There will be many hands-on opportunities and lots of new tools for the students to use such as a sewing center, wood shop and tool area, Lego wall and building area, green screen area for video making and more.

They are most excited to see how the students will grow in such a different learning environment. The hands-on learning is very important to both teachers and they are excited to see the students’ reactions as they try a new tool or explore a new piece of technology. They are also very interested to see the student collaboration and problem-solving that this type of learning environment will promote.

“Our hope is that this will eventually become the norm in every school – as normal as a computer lab or a library,” said Leonard. “We believe kids need a space to be able to explore and create where their interests are driving the learning process. “

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