John Thomas School of Discovery



What is STEAM?

STEAM is an integrated approach to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.  It takes the STEM curriculum and incorporates the Arts as well.  STEAM curriculum uses project-based learning to engage students and teach higher-level problem-solving skills along with personal characteristics that will make this world a more thoughtful and more inclusive place in which to live.  JTSD's goal is to build learners for life.  STEAM initiatives have been shown to improve test scores in math and science and prepare students for their future.

A STEAM school also works to achieve the following:

  • Emphasizes creative problem solving and innovation through language arts, visual arts and performing arts.
  • Provides students new access to science and math by tapping creative abilities and expression.
  • All teachers participate in meaningful whole school involvement.

When exploring the STEAM ideals, JTSD will engage students in the following:

  • Science.  JTSD students will be actively involved in learning about the world and universe in ways that mimic how scientists explore.  The instructional program is inquiry-based to develop and nurture within our students a spirit of curiosity, questioning, reflection, and openness to new ideas and respect for evidence.  The science lessons will model best practices in environmental and physical science and will be driven by our rapidly changing world.
  • Technology.  Technology offers relevant and engaging opportunities for student learning.  JTSD students will learn new ways to create, communicate, problem solve, and collaborate using twenty-first century skills and tools.  Our classrooms will be equipped with technology to assist the students to participate in real scientific studies and share their findings within our school and throughout the world.  But, above all, technology is a tool and not a method, and it will be used to enhance the instructional practices that our teachers will bring to the classroom.
  • Engineering.  JTSD students will imagine, design, and create just as engineers do.  Engineering fosters innovation, invention and problem-solving skills through hands-on learning.  Our school will use challenging activities to integrate engineering design concepts and skills into science and math lessons.
  • Arts.  The Arts and music integrated with technology, engineering, and math equals a successful and well-rounded educational experience. Research has shown that music instruction enhances verbal memory and spatial skills. Studies have found that involvement within the Arts sharpens the power of observation and analysis, improves questioning skills, encourages more focused concentration, and teaches that problem solving can arrive at multiple answers.
  • Mathematics.  Students develop a depth of mathematical thinking through a curriculum that emphasizes problem solving using math in real-life situations.  The curriculum allows students to further explore math through a variety of interactive and computer-based activities.