Minister: STEAM Education In Primary Schools

June 8, 2018 | 9 Comments

STEAM Education [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics] will be implemented at the primary level in public schools, Minister of Education Diallo Rabain said, explaining that the initiative will be introduced in phases and the annual cost of implementing each phase is estimated at $125,000.

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [June 8], Minister Rabain said, “The implementation of STEAM Education at the primary school level will add to what has been already started at the middle and senior school levels with STEM 101.

“The STEAM EiE curriculum will enable students to have an exciting hands-on approach to learning. Students’ experiences show that they learn how to blend the mind of a scientist and technology experts with that of an artist or designer.

“During this 2017/18 school term, a Pilot of the STEAM Engineering is Elementary, or EiE curriculum was undertaken in four primary schools – West Pembroke, Paget, Northlands and Prospect Primary Schools.

“In the longer term, the implementation of the EiE curriculum for all primary schools will be structured in three phases and operational plans will be developed at each phase for execution.

“The first phase, which extends the 2018/19 school year commences in September 2018, and will include the four schools currently participating in the Pilot plus two additional primary schools.

“Phase two of the STEAM implementation will begin in September 2019 with six  more primary schools receiving differentiated and integrated instructional supports and professional development/training in June and September 2019.

“Lastly, phase three will follow the same implementation plan during the 2020/21 school year, with the remaining six primary schools receiving professional development training and the instructional resources for implementation. At phase three, all eighteen primary schools will be fully engaged with STEAM curricula using the EiE application.

“The annual cost of implementing each phase is estimated at $125,000. This includes the cost of the EiE resource kits for each school, initial training for teachers, and on-going professional development for teachers during the course of each school year, which will ensure fidelity in delivering the STEAM programme.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker,

I am pleased this morning to provide this Honourable House with a high level plan on the implementation of STEAM Education [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics], at the primary level in the Bermuda Public School System.

Mr. Speaker,

Let me first share that STEAM Education is defined as an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking. This methodology facilitates a learning environment where students take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through creative processes.

Mr. Speaker,

STEAM Education is an approach that shifts teachers away from the typical teacher-centred classroom learning environment into collaborative project work and creative problem-solving with students. Research shows that engaging children in learning of both novelty and discovery, positively impacts their behavior and causes them to exercise self-control and to self-regulate.

Mr. Speaker,

The implementation of STEAM Education aligns with the Department of Education’s Strategic Plan for public school education; and directly supports four of the five Strategic Priorities in Plan 2022, namely:

i] Increasing Academic Rigour and Student Engagement;

ii] Ensuring Career, College, and Workforce Readiness;

iii] Enhancing the Quality of Teacher Practice and System Leadership; and,

iv] Improving Infrastructure and Instructional Resources.

In support of the Government’s mid-term platform promise “to provide exposure to STEAM Education at the primary school level”, the Department of Education undertook research that identified the ‘Engineering Is Elementary [EiE]’ curriculum – a science component of STEAM Education, as the best fit for primary school students. The Engineering Is Elementary curriculum was selected because the curriculum is universally designed to meet the needs of all learners. Students move step-by-step through a goal-directed problem-solving process. This curriculum is also aligned with the Cambridge International Science Curriculum.

Mr. Speaker,

The implementation of STEAM Education at the primary school level will add to what has been already started at the middle and senior school levels with STEM 101. The STEAM EiE curriculum will enable students to have an exciting hands-on approach to learning. Students’ experiences show that they learn how to blend the mind of a scientist and technology experts with that of an artist or designer.

Mr. Speaker,

During this 2017/18 school term, a Pilot of the STEAM Engineering is Elementary, or EiE curriculum was undertaken in four primary schools – West Pembroke, Paget, Northlands and Prospect Primary Schools. Implementation is being monitored by education officers and at the end of the school year, officers will report out to principals about the progress with the programme.

Mr. Speaker,

Classroom observations conducted thus far reveal that students are excited to:

engage in the engineering challenges
problem solve
learn about different Engineer roles in today’s world
learn terminology in different languages
think like an Engineer
Mr. Speaker,

In the longer term, the implementation of the EiE curriculum for all primary schools will be structured in three phases and operational plans will be developed at each phase for execution. The first phase, which extends the 2018/19 school year commences in September 2018, and will include the four schools currently participating in the Pilot plus two additional primary schools. These six primary schools will receive differentiated instructional support and professional development training in July and again in September 2018. The Department of Education’s technical officers that is, the Gifted and Talented Education Officer, the Acting Director of Curriculum and Assessment, and the Director of Academics will guide and support the primary school teachers during the implementation of the EiE curriculum. They will also monitor and evaluate the EiE programme on a bi-weekly basis.

Mr. Speaker,

Phase two of the STEAM implementation will begin in September 2019 with six [6] more primary schools receiving differentiated and integrated instructional supports and professional development/training in June and September 2019. Increased primary school implementation of the EiE curriculum will be applied where schools choose and integrate units of their choice. Lastly, phase three will follow the same implementation plan during the 2020/21 school year, with the remaining six primary schools receiving professional development training and the instructional resources for implementation. At phase three, all eighteen primary schools will be fully engaged with STEAM curricula using the EiE application.

Mr. Speaker,

The annual cost of implementing each phase is estimated at $125,000. This includes the cost of the EiE resource kits for each school, initial training for teachers, and on-going professional development for teachers during the course of each school year, which will ensure fidelity in delivering the STEAM programme. Professional development sessions will be facilitated by EiE representatives using a train the trainer model. The focus will be the developmental stages of lower and upper primary students and afford teachers the opportunity to facilitate STEAM pedagogy constructs for Contextual Learning and Problem Solving; Collaborative Learning and Teamwork; and Project-based Learning.

Mr. Speaker,

The success and sustainability of STEAM Education at the primary school level will be supported by a consistent commitment of economic, environmental and social partnerships with stakeholders. This Government has pledged to making education a priority and will ensure the Department of Education has the necessary resources to develop a culture that steers the success of each student.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (9)

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  1. watching says:

    Well done!

  2. Lol says:

    This is excellent. We are way behind in tech and only our future generations can bring us up to par. By investing in them while young, I have no doubts this will be a success. Well done PLP for putting OUR children which is OUR future first.

    • Not adding up says:

      Putting our children first?

      $125K / 4 schools = $31.25K per school? That could barely cover the cost of a part-time teacher for each and definately wouldn’t cover teaching material, textbooks, computers and STEAM materials. I bet these same schools have a far bigger budget set aside for gym…a subject where all you need most weeks is a ball and bat. I bet they spend more money on landscaping. In fact, I would bet that they are given a bigger budget for toilet paper!

      This is hardly putting children first. What is left for the kids?

      Why not wait and do this properly? Seems like another half-asked , self promoting press release. How can they put together a proper program for $32K. THe M.O.O. either knows this costs more and will spend more and then cover up later when they go over budget, or they are really going to put together a poor program. Which is it?

      • Lol says:

        Wow nothing but babble here. You haven’t stated not once how is this NOT beneficial for our children. This can be done and it will be done because most of the materials and facilities we ALREADY have. Many ppl before the election including me a tradesman have stated they will gladly help out with teaching and training if they open a tech school or program. And at least they didnt take from any schools to fund a damn boat race but to you that’s looking out for the children. All you trolls do is try to find the smallest and minimal things (in this case nothing at all just babble) and try to run with it. This is the first step to fixing education and training for our young ppl. Instead of bickering about nothing, why dont you see if you can help to make this initiative successful. O I forgot, more than likely your child goes to private school and doesn’t have to worry about these things I bet. Gtfoh

      • Lol says:

        All you stated was a bunch of babble. Why dont you let this initiative go through and fail first before you condemn it before it even starts! Since you know so much about how our Education and budget is run, why is it you never state what is the right way of doing it instead of trying to CREATE a narrative saying this is the wrong way. Why because you have no clue of what you are talking about. These programs and facilities already exist. The curriculum of STEM doesn’t exist which is what he is saying they are going to implement which will cost what he stated. Nice try OBAUBP troll but your fear mongering and scare tactic says are over. Why dont you concentrate on trying to build you political party from the graveyard they reside in now. Its obvious the majority of Bermuda including are satisfied with the work they are doing which is why you all lost another seat. This government is trying to catch up with the world in terms of tech and trying to build new avenues of income for Bermuda instead of relying on that tired old model of tourism and international business. So keep in your draconian ubp mindset. Nobody cares what you ppl say when the obaubp and its followers have been PROVEN LIARS since its inception. So miss me with your babble because what you stated holds no weight.

        • Not Adding Up! says:

          Babble??? You cant have it both ways! The minister stated there was $125K to be shared amongst 4 schools, not me! Simple fact is that is $31.5 per school. You obviously need to pay teachers! Even if you have one teacher shared between 4 schools that is a large chuck of the budget gone. You obviously need materials and if you know anything about technology, its not cheap. . If STEAM was already in the schools like you say (These programs and facilities already exist.) then why would the minister say he was implementing STEAM in school. Do you know what the definition of the word implement means! So who is lying now? You saying its already implemented in the schools or the minister during this press release stating that he is implementing it!?

          By the way why don’t you look at what was spent on AC35 over 4 years versus what it returned AND what we still have to show for it! FACT! It made us money! LOTS of it! Compare that to lets say, the Beyonce Concert, Faith Based Tourism, 20/20 cricket, Globalhue, …should I keep going.

          And, just so that you know I have voted for both voters. I hold no allegiance to any party! When I hear BS, I call BS. I never said it was a bad idea. Read my post. My point was that you can not IMPLEMENT a proper steam program for 31K per school. That requires a teacher like any other subject (if you want to do it properly) plus materials, equipment etc. I said either we are being misled about the real cost OR this is a have asked approach to a STEAM program. I said if 125K is all we have, why not wait (for the next budget year) and do it properly! You cant have it both ways.

  3. puzzled says:

    Well we have plenty of salt water.
    Won’t be long once implemented that it runs out of steam.

    • Lol says:

      Keep being puzzled because how can an industry that is growing EVERYWHERE in the world would just fail in Bermuda when we became the fintech capital of the world. More OBA hatred and bias and prejudice being masked as criticism. What solution does the OBA have? Been waiting for that for 5 years now

    • Lol says:

      Ya because when you have obaubp ppl like you that would go out their way to sabotage this just to make the PLP look bad we as a ppl have to work harder against the ppl like YOU. And if you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years you would know STEM careers is where it’s at and going to stay here from now on because of industry 4.0 of you have a clue of what that is. On top we are the fintech center of the world so it ain’t going to do nothing BUT WORK. And I damn sure not going to listen to any of you ppl who clearly doesn’t even know what STEM is. TROLLS BEGONE

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