Douglas County STEAM night set for Tuesday |

Douglas County STEAM night set for Tuesday

Douglas County schools are going "full STEAM ahead" on Tuesday as the school district hosts a STEAM Exploration Night for students, parents, families and the community in the STEM building at the high school.

STEAM Exploration Night is an evening for the Douglas County community to explore and experience the STEAM activities and programs that occur in the Douglas County K-12 schools.

"The idea came from a desire to include the community," said Superintendent Terri White. "The more we got teachers involved it turned into a STEAM Night."

The school district obtained the Food For Thought Grant- a funded program developed to change paradigm of parent involvement and transforms parent education outreach into a community builder and involvement.

"It allows teachers to host parent education events that are helpful for both the parent and their child," said White.

Traditionally, White said teachers host the event based on topics or questions and feedback from the parents. The STEAM Exploration Night takes it a step further and allows "creative involvement" and hands-on activities that show case what the schools and classrooms are doing.

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"It's kind of an open house. We want families and the community to come and explore what STEAM is." said White.

STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and math — encourages focus in each field throughout classroom curriculum.

The original anagram is STEM- a national program that enables and encourages the U.S. to remain economic and technological leaders.

The school district adopted the program and added art to their curriculum.

"It's changing to STEAM because it has been proven that art is critical to children's success," said Claudia Bertolone-Smith, a fifth-grade teacher at Scarselli Elementary school. "They perform really well with art in their curriculum. 'STEM' is the critical thinking part while art fulfills the creative thinking and adds a deeper learning experience."

Bertolone-Smith said 53 teachers throughout the district have volunteered to participate in Tuesday's event.

"They're all very excited," she said. "Some are bringing their students and will have demonstrations and displays of student work."

One interactive demonstration Bertolone-Smith described was building a structure together.

"For example, there might be something like 'build a bridge that will support 10 pounds,' the student and parent then work together to make that happen. The point is to provide interactions with the parents, students and teachers while displaying and interacting with what their children are doing in school."

Bertolone-Smith said there will be entertainment from students including a guitarist and singer, creative writer, improv-debate and improv performances.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with dinner catered by CoComoes Q Catering.

"We encourage the community to come and explore the activities, enjoy some food and entertainment, and learn what students are doing in our district," White said.

if you go

What: STEAM Night

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 10

Where: Douglas High School STEM Building, 1670 Highway 88, Minden