STEAM is the connection between the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. The knowledge and skills of each of these subjects is essential and combining them into an interdisciplinary and applied approach brings a cohesive learning environment based on real-world applications..
Benefits of STEAM Education
As increasing amounts of jobs are created within these fields, the demand for STEAM-focused learning has also steadily increased. Learning within the STEAM environment focuses on not only academic learning but also on developing qualities that help students succeed in the real world. At The Banff School, we foster an environment that engages students’ creativity and innovation, emphasizing the integration of these five disciplines.
Promoting STEAM-based culture fosters in students many powerful tools, including:
- Deeper, integrative thinking
- Proactive problem solving
- Leadership skills necessary for job success
- Critical thinking skills
STEAM At All Levels
It is our commitment to include STEAM education and objectives at all grade levels, Preschool through 12th grade. Due to the unique nature of our school offering a complete academic path for students from Preschool to graduation, we are able to scaffold and streamline our curriculum so every grade levels is comprehensively preparing for the next. Our STEAM classes and lessons are a perfect example of this stair-step approach to education.
In addition to the STEAM concepts included in all of our core subject areas, we also offer these additional STEAM components for our students:
Our Preschool through 2nd-grade students participate in weekly "Challenge Masters" activities that teach 21st-century skills and STEAM principles through creative and collaborative problem-solving challenges. Students experience the creative process from imagination to innovation to learn skills needed to succeed in school, career and life, including teamwork, communication, leadership, perseverance, creative and critical thinking, and self-confidence. Lessons on character education are incorporated as well.
STEAM & Math Enrichment
This course for 3rd-5th graders is designed to strengthen and motivate students across these STEAM areas, and to provide students with modern-day skills and the opportunity to explore and develop interests from a young age that they might not otherwise have. Students learn above-level concepts, in math and computer science, and develop good analytical skills while at the same time using their creativity. SNAP Circuits kits are used to build exciting electronics projects, while Physical Computing and Scratch programming (developed by MIT) are taught on Raspberry Pi's (fully-functional, credit-card sized computers). 4th & 5th-grade students also learn the basics of Python programming as well as physical computing with electronic devices.
The Banff School is one of the very few schools in the Houston area to offer computer science to students in 6th through 8th grade. Students use a Raspberry Pi computer, which is a cost-effective, fully functional computer about the size of a credit card, to write programs that control the sensors and electronics of a robot. Due to the numerous opportunities and scholarships available to those pursuing STEAM degrees, and in particular, the special incentives for women to enter STEAM fields, this course is extremely advantageous to Banff students at an age where their interests for future studies are being formed.
Computer Science / AP & Dual Credit Levels
The culmination of 10 years of previous STEAM-related curriculum, our high school Computer Science courses offer students the opportunity to learn computer-related terminology and use, the history and the development of the computer and the uses of the computer as an important tool in modern society. Course offerings include Web Design, Java programming, Python and other programming languages, with many of these options offered at the AP or Dual-Credit levels.
the banff difference
At The Banff School, our mission is to "Educate the Whole Child,” providing exciting and engaging curriculum as well as unique programs and activities that help the students grow and mature, both academically and creatively.