Palm Beach State College’s Loxahatchee Groves campus hosted its inaugural STEAM Day as part of a new partnership with Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School to increase community engagement.
“This partnership is a great extension of the College’s long-standing collaboration with the Palm Beach County School District,” said Kimberly Lancaster, dean of the Loxahatchee Groves campus. “It will not only help the elementary school meet some of its STEAM goals, but it also helps expand awareness of the Lox Groves campus and our programs. It is a win-win, especially for students.”
The professional development day drew more than 50 of the elementary school’s instructors and others who took part in different STEAM activities led by PBSC faculty from the Loxahatchee Groves and Belle Glade campuses.
The activities, led by professors Gregory Maxwell, Jeanne Murcia, Dr. Vetaley Stashenko and Candace Walker, included demonstrations on a Anatomage Table, a augmented reality platform called Magic Leap and on a Syndaver, a synthetic human cadaver. Instructors also explored the Virtual Anatomy Laboratory using zSpace ® 3D technology and learned STEAM lessons designed for elementary school children that they could apply to their classrooms.
“The engaging professional development on this day allowed our teachers to expand their toolbox of STEAM activities to help our students deepen their knowledge across curriculums,” said Juliana Bradley, assistant principal at Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School. “With state testing around the corner, our students are feeling the pressure. By collaborating with one another with the various STEAM learning opportunities, they will be able to push their students’ critical thinking skills while taking a break from the pressures of preparing for the test.”
Also in attendance was Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School Principal Richard Myerson, Instructional Superintendent of The School District of Palm Beach County Vivian Green, West Lake Education Committee member Marcia Andrews, and Mary McNicholas, the liaison for the town of Loxahatchee Groves government.
“Teaching is hard, especially now. It doesn’t matter if it’s pre-k or college, that’s one thing we can all bond over,” said Walker, an associate professor who teaches science on the Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves campuses. “To have opportunities to pour encouragement into each other, spark creativity, and remember why we fell in love with teaching in the first place is priceless.”
This event, held March 21, marked the first event of the partnership which began in February of this year. The campus plans to hold STEAM Day annually. For more information on the Loxahatchee Groves campus, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/location/loxahatchee.