The term STEAM is an acronym of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. STEAM education is designed to promote interdisciplinary learning through an applied approach which focuses on problem-based learning.
The study of scientific and technological disciplines is essential to becoming professionally competitive. In addition, through art and engineering we incorporate innovation and creativity. Thus, by connecting all disciplines we are able to develop problem solving skills and foster imagination and curiosity.
This approach is reinforced within the curriculum through the quality of the teaching strategies set out by the International Baccalaureate Programmes in all educational stages. In Primary, Secondary and Baccalaureate Education the design cycle is used to structure problem investigation and analysis; the development of workable solutions; and the creation, testing and evaluation of a solution (models, prototypes, products…) proposed by students.
In the digital age in which we live, it is vital that we move forward to incorporate new learning models which allow students and teachers alike to develop ICT skills and provide an opportunity to acquire transversal skills (other than the purely technical skills), social and civic ICT skills, STEAM skills and professional development for a digital society.
School is a makerspace where students learn by doing. In robotics and programming students focus on developing plans, designs and creating products. In interdisciplinary projects and other subjects included in the curriculum, such as design.
Students begin to familiarise themselves with programming language in a natural and enjoyable way, allowing them to overcome daily challenges and put concepts and cognitive skills gained in different subjects into practice.
Students work together in groups to construct and programme robots, using a variety of different tools.
As part of our drive for continual improvement, we have decided to fully incorporate information and communication technology into our curriculum, in order to be used as a tool to facilitate the learning process and to keep us in close contact with the technological evolution that has occurred in our society during recent decades.
As a result, we have installed the INTEGRA operating network and equipped all classrooms with interactive digital whiteboards. All this helps students through the inquiry process and allows them to keep up-to-date with the units of work and the homework which teachers upload to the digital platforms accessed by students and their families.
This programme was initiated in the academic year 2013-2014, in Preschool and Primary Education, with the objective of incorporating these touch-sensitive devices into all units of inquiry of the international studies Primary Years Programme. Through the application of constructivist teaching methods students are able work at their own individual rhythm to explore freely and independently within the structure of the interdisciplinary units, and as such fostering the development of the multiple intelligences as described by Howard Gardner.
Tools that help us to develop creativity, facilitate teamwork and allow us to give more attention to student diversity.
The DroneBlocks application we use is a drag-and-drop block programming environment that supports many of the major DJI drones.
Our goal is not only to make students interested and motivated with STEM, but also to teach real applications of drone technology.
Science is an essentially practical subject, which makes the laboratory a fundamental part of the teaching-learning process. The principal objective of the practical tasks is to foster personalised, participative and active learning where the focus is on developing scientific approaches and critical thinking skills.
At school, Preschool, Primary and Secondary students have access to different laboratories for the Applied Sciences: Physics, Chemistry, Biology; and which are comparable to those of the most prestigious universities in terms of infrastructure, resources and materials.
In 2010, we became one of the first schools to introduce the innovative programme of mental arithmetic using the abacus, in Mathematics in Primary Education. This method strengthens conceptual understanding through a multisensorial process that aims to stimulate the senses of sight, hearing and touch simultaneously.
This method is taught as part of the Primary Education curriculum and has been resoundingly successful in helping students to improve their concentration and mental arithmetic skills and their overall academic performance.
Using project based learning strategies, students use design and 3D printing technology to overcome multidisciplinary learning challenges.
The use of this technology helps to foster creative thinking and problem solving skills while at the same time encouraging student participation, engaging and focusing their interest and developing important teamwork skills.
It is clear that digital manufacturing, from the initial design process to product creation, is an important aspect of science and creative investigation.
It is extremely useful in the classroom in subjects such as Biology (parts of the anatomy), Geography (topographic maps), Industrial and Architectural Design, Art and Graphic Design and History (replicas of tools and constructions).
For this, in addition to modern laboratories, facilities and technological tools necessary for the practice of STEAM, the Arenas Schools ncluded Robotics as a curricular element several years ago, being the first in the Canary Islands to do so. Subsequently, other complementary elements have been added, such as 3D printers or Virtual Reality. And, recently, they have incorporated impressive programmable drones, perfect for educational use, which complement this integral education, and with which students will learn to program in Scratch, python and Swift.
Each year we hold the Human Ingenuity Route; a week to celebrate human achievement in the fields of science and humanities. On the open day families are invited to view and take part in the experiments, work, activities, games and projects that have been displayed in Spanish, English, French, German and Chinese by our Primary, Secondary and Sixth-Form students.
The work and experiments created by the students in the fields of science and humanities are displayed throughout the school in the laboratories, assembly rooms, classrooms and playgrounds.