Williamston School District Continues STEAM Initiative

Williamston School District Continues STEAM Initiative

WILLIAMSTON - While some school districts may be getting new computer labs, or sending Chromebooks home with students, Williamston's approach to upgrading technology is a bit more complex, Superintendent Adam Spina said.

In it's third year of operation, the district has implemented what they call a K12 STEAM, science, technology, engineering, arts and math, initiative.

"It's much more than simply buying a cart of chromebooks and saying 'here you go,'" Spina said.

Williamston is one of four districts in Michigan to partner with the Michigan Virtual University to learn how to incorporate technology into academia.

"What that was, it was the investment in our staff as far as understanding how to deliver something called a blended learning model, which utilizes technology as a vehicle to enhance instruction, but doesn't use technology just for the sake of utilizing technology," Spina said.

Some of the skills students have learned range from coding, to building cars.

"I mean we had a vehicle that was built by high school students that was at the Detroit Auto Show this past winter," Spina said.

Another part of the initiative was putting a STEAM Lab into each elementary school allowing students to take a STEAM class as part of their regular schedule. One of the labs is equipped with a 3D printer the students can work with, among other things.

"The response has just been overwhelmingly positive, I mean we have little kids going home telling their parents you know instead of dolls for Christmas, they want robotics kits."

And the work done in the district has not gone unnoticed. Williamston schools won the 2019 Education Excellence Award present by the SET SEG Foundation in partnership with the Michigan Association of Schools Board.

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