Launch of Our Environmental STEAM Workshop
Penny Atkinson, Volunteer Writer
From July this year, as part of our Latin America STEAM programme, primary school aged students from the region have been participating in the Breteau Foundation’s Environmental STEAM Workshop. The workshop is available for download through our website and is accessible for parents, caregivers and teachers to deliver either at home or in schools. Broken into 5 sessions, the workshop focuses on reducing pollutants within the home and invites students to develop their own solutions, using the approach of STEAM, an education methodology which incorporates science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.
Participants are taken on a journey, from conception to creation, with tips and examples shared along the way. The project is broken down into a series of smaller tasks with engaging exercises and video content. Each session also comes with an accompanying facilitator’s guide for teachers and parents/caregivers. To reach their objectives, students are encouraged, not only to be creative, but to be practical. They must consider how to create solutions through environmental means, and how the application of these will benefit the health of their pets and family members.
To inspire students, there are also case studies of contemporary role models from Latin America who have themselves found inventive solutions to previously unconsidered problems. Such examples include a NASA scientist who funded herself through university, an engineer using agricultural waste to reduce wide scale pollution in road construction, and the founders of Colombia’s ‘City of Women’ who built their own community. Significantly, these are all people who, just like the workshop’s participants, started by responding to domestic problems in their immediate environments. In this way, students can see themselves reflected in these successes, and learn that big accomplishments arise from small – but no less significant – first steps.
At the completion of the workshop, students will have had the opportunity to collaborate with friends to create their own real-life solutions, using materials sourced from around the home, as well as learn how to improve on the impact of their projects by idea sharing with peers. Most significantly, through turning rubbish into resources and pollutants into progress, students realise their own agency in creating positive change within their own homes.
If you are interested in registering for the Environmental STEAM Workshop, you can still do so via our website. All content is completely free and downloadable for parents, caregivers and teachers.