STEAM Expeditions Kick Off for 2019-2020

Metro Nashville Public Schools continues to re-envision how students learn by elevating its STEAM work — a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

The district’s STEAM Experiential Learning team hosted the first STEAM Expeditions for the 2019-20 school year this week. The program will expose students from 13 elementary and 18 middle schools to field trips focused on various areas of the discipline.

On Sept. 9, Glencliff Elementary 3rd graders and 5th graders from Jere Baxter and Haynes Middle Schools launched the series of field trips with stops at the Nashville Zoo and Tennessee Agricultural Museum, respectively.

The field trips are designed to ensure equitable access for MNPS students to have cultural enrichment opportunities that support their academic, social and emotional growth. More than 15,000 students will participate at no cost to students or their schools.  

“We are focused on introducing students to learning enrichments that spark their curiosity, challenges them to think critically and creatively, and encourages communication and collaboration with their peers,” said Dr. Jennifer Berry, director of STEAM/Science. “These expeditions help students better understand how their specific skills integrate into a complex world.”

The field trips will continue through May 12, 2020, and are directly connected to offerings in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Each school will have one to two culturally enriched educational field trips over the course of the school year. Kindergarten students will travel only in the Spring.

“This initiative enables students to feel, see and listen to what they are learning about,” said Tiffany Griffin-Minor, coordinator of STEAM Experiential Learning. “We are thankful for the partners who are supporting this work – many of whom provided free or significantly discounted admission to offer these experiences to our students.”

Erin Castellano, school and outreach programs manager for Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, is among several partners working with MNPS to make these discovery field trip possible.

“This has been a wonderful opportunity that allows students to have an unforgettable, hands-on exploration experience,” Castellano said. “It is important for Cheekwood to extend this opportunity to MNPS because we want students to have access to the gardens and how Cheekwood’s resources support the STEAM work.”