It’s full STEAM ahead at elementary school fair
Nine-year-old Markus Gougeon has been interested in science and art from an early age.
“When I was 5, I started watching documentaries,” he said. “I started making sculptures out of clay. I started to flip over rocks to investigate bugs.”
Markus drew his “signature look,” a hybrid dinosaur that’s a mix between a stegosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus rex, for Wareham Elementary School’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) night on Thursday, May 18.
“I know my stuff about science and stuff,” said 8-year-old Malcolm Barnett. “It’s because I really know math, and I wonder about what everything does and stuff.”
Elementary school students showed off their artwork and science projects to demonstrate the similarities between them. For Markus, the most important thing art and science have in common is that they’re both really fun.
The stars of STEAM night were Dash and Sphero, two tiny remote-controlled robots used to teach basic computer programming. Dash and Sphero rolled erratically across the room while a gaggle of students chased after them.
“I don’t know what I’m doing!” Six-year-old Damien Garrett said with a smile on his face while controlling Dash.
Edwin James Ross and Delilah Loomis, both 9, explored a miniature tide pool ecosystem being nurtured by the STEAM students.
“The shells, there’s things living inside of those,” Edwin said about the mussels living in the aquarium. “I’m surprised that something can get in there and live in it.”
Even though Delilah didn’t know what exactly she was touching, she still thought that exploring the tide pool was “really fun.”
Art teacher Nancy Newton wore a work of art — a dress that she allowed 400 elementary school students to draw on.
“I love it because one day, when I retire, they’ll still be here with me,” she said, “and that’s a really neat feeling.”
Newton said that art is an effective way to teach math and science to elementary schoolers. Her students used mathematics to measure and cut out Chinese paper lanterns, and learned about animals, like walruses by drawing them. Many student art projects were inspired by Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, allowing students to discover art from around the world.
“Cultural diversity is a big thing,” Newton said.
Nevaeh Elder, 9, drew a colorful Chinese dragon.
“I like a lot of colors,” she said. “And there’s a unicorn horn because I like unicorns.”
“She’s a very good drawer,” said her mother Stephanie Caldeira.
Nevaeh’s brother Enzo Nunes, 7, loved the interactive marine life display from Captain John Boats of Plymouth. He put a piece of whale baleen on his head and wore it like a mohawk.
“I wish I could say you’re the first person to do that,” a volunteer told him, “but everyone loves putting it on their head.”
“He loves knowledge,” Caldeira said about her son. “He just is like, ‘Feed me, feed me!’”