The children in Mrs. McLaughlin's First Grade class and the children in Mrs. Pase's Second Grade class worked collaboratively to create a giant gingerbread house using the power of cross-disciplinary learning. The acronym STEAM
stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math
. The basic model of STEAM based education is to teach students to bridge subjects and problem solve.
The students have been reading many different "gingerbread" focused stories and comparing and contrasting the characters in the stories. Working collaboratively with the art teacher Mrs. Rucano, the students were able to create candy, cookie and cupcake decorations to be used on the giant "gingerbread house". During the next get together, the students were able to look at all the supplies and were tasked with engineering the boxes so they would not collapse once put together. The children were given large cardboard boxes, tape, and large wooden paint stirrers. Through trial and error, the students were able to support the boxes so they would stand and not collapse under the weight of the roof.
Finally the children were tasked with decorating the house. They all enjoyed working together to create something that will be enjoyed by the entire school. The children are so proud of their hard work and effort and the teachers were thrilled that this STEAM based project taught the students to make connections between the subjects they are studying rather than exploring them in isolation. It was a wonderful, fun filled, hands-on experience filled with team work and learning!