Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math
There is a growing enthusiasm towards STEAM-education in Oulu. One reason for that is the growing need of employees in ICT-sector. The curriculum also demands for phenomenon based learning and multidisciplinary study modules. STEAM is working to motivate students to learn and increase the school satisfaction among students.
A group of teachers and headmasters started a collaborative project in 2018 with the help of a fund provided by Finnish National Agency for Education. Six STEAM-schools from Oulu (Yli-Ii, Rajakylä, Ylikiiminki, Kaakkuri, Oulujoki and Huttukylä) and FabLab Oulu shared their knowledge and work together to make a STEAM-education path for grades 1-9. STEAM-education emphasizes teaching cross curricular subjects and 21st century skills. Students are encouraged to set goals on learning. We prefer formative assessment to help students achieve their goals. We have a common understanding of what we need for doing STEAM in our schools.
STEAM requires room for crafts, coding and doing things in groups. Some schools have built up separate STEAM classrooms or makerspaces where they have centralized all the technology and STEAM-activities. Some schools mix and spread activities through the whole school. Both models work depending on the needs of the school.
Because of the novelty of STEAM-pedagogy and challenges in technology we have made a model for teacher training. The model includes working methods, pedagogy, and use of technology. Principals have trainings in FabLab where they learn how to run and lead the STEAM-process at their schools. Some of the teachers are also educated in FabLab. To support new STEAM-schools we have a mentoring model. In addition STEAM -tutors in Oulu assist all teachers in Oulu to give pedagogical guidance, help in projects and technology.
At the moment we have about 19 steam-schools in the city of Oulu, and the number is continually increasing.