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We launched the new STEAM Lab at the Taos School of Integrated Arts with a series of Twirl workshops. Students from grades K-5 participated in Light Play, which allows them to play, explore and make discoveries with light. They learn how it bends, bounces and blends with the help of lenses and mirrors; along with color-combining and shadow play. They investigate what happens to light when it encounters various materials, allowing them to experience scientific concepts through light play. The result is an art project that brings to life the science of light through the creation of shadow puppets for a collaborative classroom mobile.

light-playSTEAM Lab @TISA aims to provide year round programming designed to support and engage TISA’s teachers and students in grades K–8 with culturally sensitive and age-appropriate workshops, activities and technology that combine Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Art as Social Practice. The methodology will be guided by the STEMarts Model which builds on eight years of successful STEM+art curriculum design. The leading innovation is the foundational principle that authentic and meaningful integration of science and art as social practice results in deeper learning, greater student engagement by students in both science and art, and the creative application of science and technology in their lives and in their communities. Activities are always ‘maker focusedʼ and revolve around project-based design challenges delivered by artists, scientists or interdisciplinary guests in collaboration with classroom teachers.

Building from this unique starting point, the instructional design model intentionally connects the STEMarts Learning Model’s four pillars of instructional design to key activities and tools in order to impact student learning and attitudes, while enhancing their self esteem and feeling of purpose in the world.

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