Providence Elementary School Celebrates with STEAM Night

Students and Parents Work Together to Solve Problems

Providence Elementary School (PES) families came together last Monday night to celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math at the school's annual STEAM Family Night. Students and parents dropped parachutes, built towers from straws, made their own kazoos and tried to discover what was in the 'mystery box' through various methods of observation.

STEAM night was led by a group of teachers throughout a number of subjects - Gina Shelton, (technology), Diana Schmeising and Sarah Phillips, (STEAM), Tiffanie Wu and Dori Hargrovem, (Math) and Alan Borhauer, (Advanced Academics).

"Providence has had this event for years, but the 2014 STEAM Night was our best showing," said PES Principal Jesse Kraft.   "The activities were fun and challenging, our friends from TJ (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology) and our teachers were great at coaching families through the challenges, and the community showed up in record numbers to join the fun."

PES is one of the only elementary schools in the county to have a dedicated STEAM lab. Students rotate 3-4 times per year though the STEAM Lab to work on experiments designed for their age group. STEAM Night celebrates PES' dedication to bringing high level thinking skills to all students. Earlier this year, STEAM Lab was one of 11 projects honored by the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition with a 2014 Program that Work Award. The award recognizes exemplary mathematics, science, and integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning.

PES first grade teacher Jackie Wheeler was impressed with the night felt the night was a success. "It was amazing," said Wheeler. "The kids had a wonderful time and big smiles on their faces sharing their projects with their families. The STEAM teachers and administrators put a lot of hard work into the night and it was truly a great evening!"

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