Scranton Teachers Power RV with ‘STEAM’
SCRANTON — STEAM education is a buzz word in schools these days. It stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
Teachers in the Scranton School District have a unique way of teaching those subjects to elementary students. They’re taking the classroom on the road.
The decades-old vehicle they use has new life. It’s powered by STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.
“It’s great when you pull up next to a stop light and somebody looks at the thing. It’s fantastic. It excites people. It confuses them, but it makes people ask questions and that’s the whole idea,” said Scranton School District art teacher Ryan Hnat.
The idea is to spark questions and creativity. The STEAM Mobile, as it’s called, is the brainchild of several Scranton School District teachers. The IT department filled it with technology. Science teachers filled it with mobile lesson plans and an art teacher painted the outside.
The Scranton School District has had this RV for more than 20 years. It really hasn’t been used much aside from being a broadcast van for football games for a few years. Now, students can do their own online broadcasts inside the STEAM Mobile.
On Friday, Scranton’s STEAM Mobile traveled to the Dunmore School District for a meeting of school superintendents from Lackawanna County.
The STEAM Mobile’s lesson plans push kids to create, even destroy sometimes.
“A lot of kids associate science with a really big textbook. They don`t necessarily see all of the stuff that goes along with science, especially with technology and engineering and all of the equipment that we have on here. Simply them just seeing it definitely sparks the enthusiasm,” said Scranton School District science teacher Katona Miller.
Scranton plans to drive the STEAM Mobile to each of the district’s eleven elementary schools to be used by third, fourth, and fifth graders.
“This is just the beginning, we’ll be moving into the middle schools with something very special for them next year and then hopefully into the high schools the following year,” said Scranton Superintendent Dr. Alexis Kirijan.
The STEAM Mobile was funded with district money, but district officials plan to drive it to different businesses in hopes of getting donations.