“STEM” stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education. Add Art and you have “STEAM.”
Building the capacity of young people in science, technology, engineering, and math – and doing so within the humanistic frame that the arts help provide – is essential. Young people will need a high level of STEAM literacy to make decisions about their daily lives and to fulfill their role as informed citizens.
There are many ways your PTA can promote STEAM, but showing parents how to discover alongside their children by hosting a STEAM Experience is one of our favorites!
Engage families in discovery at your school by hosting a PTA STEAM Experience – either in person or virtually – using these simple steps:
Step 1: Gather the Tools Needed to Host your STEAM Experience
- Visit the “Creating an Event” section of the California State PTA toolkit to help you plan your event.
- Adapt this agenda template to meet your needs.
- Find tips for hosting your STEAM Experience here.
- If hosting a virtual STEAM Experience, check out these tips for hosting a webinar:
- Gain access to a webinar platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or GoTo Webinar. You can find a list of strong virtual platforms here.
- Learn more about your audience and keep track of the number of participants by having them register for the event.
- To be more effective and engaging:
- Record the meeting so people can refer back or watch on their own.
- Create polls or ask the audience about their experience with STEAM activities.
- Use screen share to deliberately walk participants through the process of finding STEAM videos and activities.
- Encourage members to interact with the presentation by turning on their video and audio.
- For additional resources that can help you better understand STEAM education, click here.
STEP 2: Review STEAM Experience experiments on the California State PTA Resource Library
- Visit the California State PTA Resource Library
- Check the “STEAM Experience” box in the search criteria.
- You will find videos of PTA members and their children conducting experiments.
- Watch a few of our amazing volunteer-created STEAM Experience videos. Each video showcases fun and interactive ways for parents and their children to engage in the STEAM subject areas. Choose your favorite to show during your STEAM Experience event.
STEP 3: Host the Meeting
- Lead an icebreaker activity.
- Open your favorite STEAM Experience video and watch it in its entirety.
- Lead a discussion:
- Highlight some of your favorite moments from the videos, and ask the participants what they liked most.
- Draw attention to the STEAM education covered in the video.
- Have everyone share what they learned.
- Bring special focus to the next steps and follow-up questions in the videos.
- Ask participants how we can provide more resources to showcase at-home education and an emphasis on STEAM education.
- For more tips on hosting a successful meeting, click here.
STEP 4: Keep In Touch and Share your Experience
- Use the registration information collected to stay in touch with your families. Ask if anyone has conducted the activity shown in the video or composed their own experiments.
- Encourage members to share their experience by submitting a video clip through our “Share Your Story” testimonial feature.
- Pass along any videos people submit so members can continue sharing the idea of STEAM Experience and to build community within your PTA.
- Tell us all about your event so we can share it with other PTAs. Complete the Success Stories form.