Phorms Schule Frankfurt – How students become little explorers
‘STEAM helps me think differently because your partner shares ideas with you and then you start to think in new and creative ways,’ says Linnea, a 10-year-old student from year 4. She and the other students in year 4 at the Phorms Campus Frankfurt City are a part of a new STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths-experience. The pedagogues at the school decided to commit to incorporating STEAM into the weekly learning experience of their class.
At a daily classroom level, the teachers like to find moments throughout the day when their students can engage in their latest weekly STEAM challenge, whether it’s five minutes before lunch, or as an incentive to finish their work, or perhaps early in the morning before the official school day starts. ‘We can usually find moments in our already very full days to work on these tasks,’ says Nickolas Praulins, a teacher in year 4.
Starting with a few rolls of sticky tape, coloured paper, cardboard and string, there is now a dedicated STEAM zone in each year 4 classroom. In this zone the children bring in and sort recyclable materials from home, and have access to the equipment they need to action their ideas quickly. ‘I think STEAM helps me to think differently because I learn to use my imagination and creativity more. For example, I learn to think, draw and build in 3D, and how to build things that I have never built before, like an aircraft,’ says 10-year-old Jana. She is referring to the model aeroplane their class created, which flies the furthest while carrying a € 2 coin. They have also built a crane that is able to pick up heavy weights, and created a car with independent axles, which is powered by a balloon.
‘We have noticed the children becoming more self-directed and independent in their approach to learning. STEAM is definitely here to stay in year 4, and we are looking forward to seeing the exciting things the children create in the months ahead,’ says Praulins.