What’s Right With Our Schools: STEAM exploratory classes help with critical thinking skills

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GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Students at Gray Elementary are using their hands to explore learning from a different angle.

“When you do stuff fun wise, it makes you happier,” says fifth grader Olivia Bridger.

Students are putting down the books and exploring. STEAM exploratory classes are offered to first through fifth graders. They meet for 45 minutes a day and learn how things work, how to build, and how to become a better team player.



“You can’t do everything by yourself, you have to work with partners. You have to do team work,” Bridger adds.

The classes allow students to partner up and use their critical and creative skills to solve problems.

“When we first get together, we’re talking about whatever our question might be, what we’re going to be working on, sometimes they’re watching videos depending on their grade level, they’re doing some research on their own, they’re learning about that topic so they’ll have the ability to build or create whatever the project is at the time,” says Regina McGalliard who teaches at the school.

Students were instructed to build a water slide. They had to make sure the slide was sturdy, at a certain height and built well enough so a lego person is able to slide down.

Fifth grader Chance Whittle was ready for the challenge because his favorite subject, math was involved.

“To find the exact measurement, it can’t be too tall or you can’t have a good foundation and it can’t be too short or it won’t go where you want it to go. So, you have to use a lot of math in STEAM,” Whittle explains.

Using science, technology, engineering, arts and math, to explore and create has made these students appreciate things more.

Second grader Jorden Shoates adds, “STEAM is engineering so you can make the world a better place.”

This is the first year Gray Elementary has been offering STEAM exploratory classes.