Steam Expedition Program Continues its Success Virtually

Steam Expedition Program Continues its Success Virtually
Posted on 02/04/2021
Steam Expedition Program

In the past few years, thousands of MNPS students have experienced STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Expeditions, a program created to expose students to cultural enrichment opportunities that support their academic, social and emotional growth. Expeditions took students on field trips to locations that are directly connected to their curriculums in the classroom.

As the program was starting to gain real energy, the pandemic hit, and the experiential learning team had to pivot their approach. Instead of putting the trips on hold, they turned them virtual.

“Some beautiful, collaborative relationships have come out of this program, so we didn’t want to lose the momentum we created last year,” Tiffany Griffin-Minor, STEAM experiential learning coordinator, said. “But it has been amazing to see how many more people were willing to participate in other ways in 2020.”

During fall 2020, students were still able to meet a Vanderbilt astronomy expert, watch the Nashville Ballet, look closely at animal behaviors and habitats with zoologists at the Nashville Zoo, and participate in just as many experiences as they did in 2019 with local experts. Each virtual field trip also has pre-work and post-work options in their classroom Schoology accounts so teachers and students can continue learning and dig deeper into each topic. The nature of the virtual trips encourages continued interaction with students at home to keep them engaged and curious in sometimes tough or lonely pandemic times.

“I really cannot pick a favorite Expedition because I am so humbled by the way the community has really embraced Metro Schools with this programming,” Griffin-Minor said. “It has been so meaningful to see.”

The schedule for the Spring 2021 Expeditions is already planned and includes lessons on the Parthenon and Greek mythology, exploration of the Cheekwood Gardens, a history lesson from the Frist Art Museum, and a few other incredible opportunities.

STEAM Expeditions are currently available to 13 elementary schools and 17 middle schools, but many of MNPS’ schools incorporate aspects of STEAM into their daily lessons. Griffin-Minor encourages prospective MNPS families to explore STEAM schools because of the intentionality and instructional approach of the programming. Each aspect of the learning focus directly prepares students for college and career by using critical thinking, creativity and out-of-the box, hands-on learning.

“STEAM schools provide students with opportunities to see how what they learn in the classroom applies to the real world,” said Dr. Jennifer Berry, STEAM science director. “STEAM education helps prepare students to become active and effective members in society through the development of business and industry influence.”

OPTIONAL SCHOOLS APPLICATION

To apply for an MNPS 2021-22 optional school, visit www.mnps.org/apply and submit an application before Feb. 12. You can also check out your neighborhood school options at www.mnps.org/explore.

If you are a community member hoping to get involved in STEAM Expeditions, email [email protected] or [email protected]

STEAM Expeditions Elementary Schools

  • Glencliff Elementary

  • Eagle View Elementary

  • John Whitsitt Elementary 

  • Warner Elementary

  • Chadwell Elementary 

  • Amqui Elementary 

  • Inglewood Elementary

  • Rosebank Elementary

  • Dodson Elementary 

  • Ida B. Wells Elementary

  • Pennington Elementary

  • DuPont Elementary

  • Hermitage Elementary 

STEAM Expeditions Middle Schools

  • Head Middle School

  • Isaac Litton Middle School

  • Rose Park Middle School

  • Stratford Middle School

  • Moses McKissack Middle School

  • Oliver Middle School

  • Croft Middle School

  • Antioch Middle School

  • McMurray Middle School

  • Haynes Middle School

  • J.F.K. Middle School

  • Madison Middle School

  • Jere Baxter Middle School

  • J.T. Moore Middle School

  • Creswell Middle School

  • DuPont Hadley Middle School

  • Bellevue Middle School

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