As a brand new school, family events at Victoria Park Academy (VPA) have to showcase the exciting learning opportunities that we offer and highlight our educational philosophy. Our very first event was a celebration of STEAM back in August. I was unable to access my blog at that time but, months later, I’m still keen to write about it because it was such a wonderful day!
Our STEAM Day was in collaboration with our friends at JAN Education Ltd., led by Arnong Lau, who specialise in research and development. They kindly offered their time, resources and expertise to make the event extra special!
Before Arnong spoke about artificial intelligence, I kicked off the event with a presentation about the value of STEAM education. I also shared our philosophy towards STEAM education using the event’s slogan, “STEAM Everywhere!”. Although we have dedicated STEAM rooms and a specialist STEAM teacher, we believe that every teacher is a STEAM teacher and every classroom should be a makerspace. The event really exemplified this because all of our teachers rolled up their sleeves and enthusiastically facilitated the activities.
VPA is a school that emphasises the importance of creativity, hands-on learning, problem-solving and other qualities that are strongly associated with STEAM. This is a big part of our educational philosophy and we made sure everyone knows it!
I’m reminded of this quote from Daily STEM:
“STEM isn’t a class you teach. It’s a culture you build.”
After the presentations, students and families were free to walk around the school and explore the many STEAM stations and activities that we prepared.
We made excellent use of the STEAM resources that we had at that time (we have a lot more now) as well as the ones that were brought by Arnong and his team. Resources included Makey Makey, micro:bit robots, robot arenas, Strawbees, Makedo, Ozobots, Sphero indi, an interactive eco-house prototype and a robot education companion.
I believe that our first family event made a powerful statement about VPA: “This is who we are, this is what we value, and here’s why.” STEAM Day will become an annual event and, no doubt, a highlight of every school year!