By Bret Piatt
Aug 21, 2018
This past Saturday, August 18, episode 99 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by [Cliff Zintgraff and Rudy Reyna, San Antonio-Bexar Stem/STEAM Ecosystem (SABSSE) to discuss STEM and STEAM education and the importance of the initiative SABSSE.
This week’s episode begins with an introduction to our two guest, Cliff and Rudy, and how they both share a background and work experience in STEM/STEAM. Currently, they are both working on the San Antonio-Bexar STEM/STEAM Ecosystem initiative, which focuses on the importance of education in STEM/STEAM. With support from Mayor Ron Nirenberg and his team, SABSSE spent about a year working on a new app to promote this kind of education. When it comes to applying cross disciplinary education, Cliff and Rudy emphasize that STEM/STEAM education only happens when at least two of the letters in the acronyms are being applied at the same time. I couldn’t agree more! This kind of cross disciplinary education needs to start being implemented into K-12 education in order to set a foundation where kids understand how to problem solve and think. This would give them an advantage in the future, no matter what field they decide to go into. Have you heard the term “numerate?” This is the number equivalent to literate. Cliff agrees with the importance of one’s ability to understand numbers and ties it in with the STEM community. Both Cliff and Rudy believe that STEM is a culture that promotes the growth of one’s thinking ability. The benefits of the idea creation and problem solving techniques in STEM/STEAM are not being effectively taught in the modern day education system. This needs to change in order to move towards project-based learning.
In the second half of the show, I asked Cliff and Rudy to explain the differences between STEM and STEAM. STEAM is newer concept and is a lot like STEM, however, it includes art into its education and philosophy. They believe this addition helps with the social and cognitive growth in kids. The ability to have good presentation, writing, and problem solving skills are important for the business world. At Jungle Disk, we recently hosting a high school internship program with SAISD in which students began to show development and improvement of their presentation and social skills in just 4 weeks! Many K-12 schools lack a major focus on the importance of art. While they do offer art classes, there is not standardized testing for any of the arts in school. Schools tend to have a bigger focus on things that can show rewards like graduation rate and test scores. Have you heard about the Mayor’s K-12 Smart City Challenge? Check out the website and see how your children can get involved! In effort to bring STEAM to the classroom, Cliff and Rudy believe that elementary school teachers have more freedom to begin to start teaching cross disciplinary and project-based learning. As students move into middle and high school, classes become more topic individualized. We all believe that in order to promote STEAM focused teaching that the administration needs to begin making classes more connected.
Listen to the episode replay to learn more about SABSSE and how you can help promote STEM/STEAM education, go here or watch below.
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