“This is so cool.”
There is a classroom at Larkspur Elementary School that is captivating students daily.
It’s a classroom where they can hold entire solar systems in their hands.
They can watch sharks swim around the classroom or build miniature interactive cities on their tables.
It’s called the STEAM lab.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.
The lab helps reinforce principles taught in the other classrooms.
The lab also gives students a chance to dive deeper into topics they are interested in and work with others.
“They have free choice on what they will be looking at,” said STEAM teacher Elizabeth Schmidt. “I collaborate with the teachers with what they are teaching and then let the kids explore those topics.”
Right now, students are learning about the planets using Augmented Reality.
Click here to see it in action.
Using something called a Merge cube, students can really explore any subject.
When they look at the cube through their tablet, the cube can turn into a planet that the students can hold and manipulate.
The students really get into the hands-on, collaborative lessons.
“The conversations just flow. They teach each other. They make mistakes together. They ask lots of questions. It’s really fun to see,” said Schmidt.
You can hear the excitement as students beg others to come and see what they have discovered.
“I am literally holding a world in my hand,” said one student.
“Y’all have to see this,” said another third grader.
“I AM INSIDE A DIAMOND,” shouted another.
The STEAM Lab is just one way Larkspur creates a love of life-long learning #theNEISDway.