Living Well is an Art and a Science

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Next Generation Science Standards land in LA public schools.

 

We all know education is important.

 

In today’s global economy, it is even more important to make sure the architecture of education evolves and grows with each generation it serves. Our students and future leaders will need to solve problems and do jobs that don’t even exist yet.

 

So far, our traditional STEM curriculum has been key. It has provided students a technical and practical understanding of the world through science and prepared them for careers after graduation.

 

As this generation has grown, so has STEM itself.

 

In California, the L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) has recently updated its education guidelines and standards, providing students with more access to science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).  One of the ways in which students are learning about STEAM is through newly developed STEAM labs –  maker spaces that promote creativity and problem-solving, and the comprehension of STEAM concepts, through integrative, hands-on, experiential learning opportunities.

 

With Andeavor’s support, labs have been installed in six STEM-oriented schools, serving approximately 5,600 students, grades 6 through 12, in the Carson/Wilmington area each year. Labs offer space for students and educators to learn and explore together, with access to new curriculum and technology that is making a difference in learning outcomes.

 

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While math, science, engineering and technology might be separate subjects studied in school, they are not separated so neatly in life. Science learning in schools leads to citizens with confidence, ability, and the desire to continue learning to improve their lives and the lives of others. By adding art into the mix, students have a deeper toolbox for problem solving, and are better able to combine their tools in innovative ways.

 

LAUSD’s STEAM program is rooted in California’s “Next Generation Science Standards.” These updated standards better reflect how science is intertwined in real life. They outline a “Three-Dimensional Learning” foundation that shifts the conceptual to the practical.

 

The first ‘dimension’ is “science and engineering practices.” This teaches scientific behavior like investigation, model building and theorizing.

 

The second dimension teaches problem solving based on the underlying principles of “disciplinary core ideas’ – physical science, life science, Earth and space science, and engineering.

 

Lastly, the third dimension helps students connect everything they’ve learned with “crosscutting concepts.” Students use the tools they’ve accumulated to explore the connections of the core ideas they’ve learned.

 

“Our students deserve every opportunity to seek their own best futures; to that effect they also need the best technology available to help them unlock their potential., said LAUSD Board of Education Member Dr. Richard Vladovic. “I would like to thank Andeavor - one of our most trusted community partners, for their continued investments in our students and our schools. They are helping out students, and by doing so making our communities a better place to live. I look forward to our continued partnership.”        

 

Equipped not just with knowledge, but with the confidence to apply it in new, creative ways, students from LAUSD will surely contribute to tomorrow’s solutions.