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Science Technology Engineering Arts Math (STEAM) Program (grades 9-12) will offer students an exciting innovative hands-on approach to learning. The curriculum blends the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer, enabling students to explore the captivating area where STEM, the Arts, and the future intersect.
In grades 9 and 10, the STEAM experience will immerse the student in cognitive skill activities to build learning capacity with strong advising and coaching among all the courses in the student schedule. The student will explore and develop abilities in STEAM through all aspects of biotechnology in a wet lab, engineering design and computer sciences via robotics, sound engineering, and musicianship. All students will experience full academic coursework that is directly harmonized to the hands-on learning.
In Grades 11 and 12, STEAM students will choose an area of concentration to fully develop their ability to work in teams to support their career goals in the STEAM fields. Students will be supported, coached, and advised by their instructors, mentors from post-secondary institutions, innovators, and employers in the STEAM fields.
The STEAM Program will foster a working environment that (1) Encourages teachers and staff to be entrepreneurial; (2) Empowers them to think and work ‘outside the box’; and (3) Promotes a professional learning network within the school that transcends to neighboring school districts and schools throughout the world.
The ideal STEAM Program teacher will be:
Pedagogically agile; able to model learning.
Reflective and enthusiastic about exploring new approaches to pedagogy.
Flexible and able to be comfortable in a non-traditional learning environment.
Dedicated to improving one’s own practice.
Closely collaborative with all Academic and CTE colleagues to thoroughly integrate all academic coursework with the hands-on learning.
Comfortable with learning technology.
Committed to the Core Values of Growth Mindset, High Expectations, Supportive Environment, and Life-long Learning.
An On-Demand Learning System will be a major and integral part of the teaching and learning environment. Over time, course materials will be provided to students online. Recorded "lectures" that explore course concepts, facts, and ideas will be available via the platform. Students and teachers will maintain their own electronic portfolios.
Teachers will have the opportunity to modify or create online content for their courses--teachers are not stuck with the recorded content, assignments, or tests that often take the place of classroom lectures. They can experiment with creating and substituting new content in any form, or can document student difficulties with existing content for later developers. Teacher input on improving the STEAM Program is not only welcomed, but is seen as a key factor in the program's growth and evolution over time.
Project-based learning and the encouragement of creativity will be large parts of teacher life. Student projects will be embedded in courses, and teachers will conduct Design School-style "pin-ups" in class in which students display and explain their creative approach and defend their work to the class.
Teachers will also be coaches. Each teacher will mentor, guide, and advise a group of 18-20 students throughout the school year, and perhaps through all four years. This will include parent-teacher contact.
STEAM program teachers will be expected to participate in significant professional development throughout the year including the summer (compensated). Professional Development will include:
Occasional outside activities that may include conferences, lectures, and demonstrations by visitors;
leadership seminars held at university schools of education and management;
and visitors from, or visits to, innovative schools in the Commonwealth and throughout the country--to observe their approaches and learn from their best practices.
Note: The STEAM Studio Education Foundation has developed working relationships with several educational organizations. Representatives from these organizations are likely to participate in PD experiences for our teachers. Institutions include MIT, the new Woodrow Wilson Graduate School of Education (a collaboration with MIT’s Digital Learning Center), BioBuilder, UMass Lowell, and other area colleges.