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HCCSC begins STEAM LABS program

Huntington County Community School Corporation (HCCSC) has begun high ability programs with STEAM LABS at both Crestview and Riverview middle schools.

High ability is support for students who are performing above average in the schools.

STEAM LAB stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, Leadership, Agriculture, and Business.

There are three rooms at the Crestview location. One room is a science lab and the other two are for technology and engineering are based in.  

For science, the district is incorporating hydroponics into the program.
For technology, they are using robotics, virtual reality equipment, Mac Minis for coding and swift programs as teaching tools.  
Engineering is integrating snap circuits, 3D printing training, and MakerSpace carts into the curriculum.
MakerSpace carts are $7,000 worth of STEM supplies for the use in STEAM LABS.
Art is full of cricket printers, piano lessons, crochet, sewing focusing on the geometric patterns and shapes involved.
For Math, the sewing is also used as a teaching tool, as well as the use of the MakerSpace cart which allows for physical projects such as a projectile launcher

In the future the district will be able to do small groups with math with a variety of topics.

By emphasizing leadership, students are learning to take ownership of projects including help with decorating and putting together TVs in the rooms.
Agriculture is using hydroponics as well as an outside classroom where students will have access to hands on learning with animals and plants.
In the business aspect of the STEAM LAB there are spaces for students to collaborate on projects together and creating things for the school.

The STEAM LAB allows for students who are achieving higher than normal to have a way for them to continue to be challenged. The program is pulling materials from the curriculum and advancing the learning of these high ability students.  

It also allows for students who are not high ability the chance to come into the lab when they are finished with their work which motivates them in the classroom.

The program began in April 2020 when the district applied for an Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) STEM grant for $75,000. The grant was awarded June 2020 and was then distributed to Crestview and Riverview which received $25,000 each. The remaining $25,000 went towards project based learning and professional development services.

In 2021 high school high ability student leaders joined the team to personalize and expedite a STEAM learning experience for everyone.
Crestview placed its first purchase order and began its pilot STEAM LAB with Riverview to follow 3-6 months later.

The pilot lab allowed for them to learn from the problems and grow the program more.

A plan is developed for the upcoming year with MakerSpace involved allowing for students to come and do lesson plans or have independent time.
As of right now, the IDOE STEAM grant has been fully used.
There may be another presentation for the IDOE regarding their work in the 2022-23 year.

The district is continuing to improve the MakerSpace Vision written plan and growing the project more.
District officials are hoping for more training for teachers. Twenty-six teachers from all departments trained together on 3D printing the first few days of summer vacation.

It has just started a student internship with high school senior Corbin Dowden.
His mentor at Riverview will be Melissa Ross, at Crestview it will be Andi Helms, and an overhead mentor will be Deb Daugherty.
Twenty-six teachers will deliver one lesson plan that they learn through the MakerSpace training in the lab throughout the year.

There will be canvas modules for a variety of lessons involving the labs where students can access the instructions and directions online.
For information about the canvas material visit hccsc.instructure.com/courses/23180.