Contact: Jenny Papageorge, Grants Chair
Easthampton Learning Foundation Invests in Establishing a Sustainable STEAM Program at Mountain View School
Easthampton, MA - The Easthampton Learning Foundation is investing significantly in enhancing the STEAM program at Easthampton Public School’s Mountain View School. Priscilla Kane Hellweg, founder of the Arts Integration Studio, and Megan Kelley-Bagg, Easthampton Public Schools STEAM teacher, are collaborating to expand STEAM opportunities for K-5 students.
STEAM, an educational approach integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, fosters 21st-century skills like creative thinking and collaboration. Priscilla Kane Hellweg and Megan Kelley-Bagg aim to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration, elevate arts education within STEAM, and develop replicable content for teachers.
A dedicated STEAM cohort has been formed, starting with fifth-grade teachers engaging in collaborative professional development. The focus is on Weather, Climate, and Earth Systems, with two hands-on curriculum units created for 5th grade. The units Cloud Trackers Data Collection and Analysis and The Existential Decomposition Cycle of a Pumpkin offer engaging, project-based learning experiences.
A 5th-grade teacher, Ryan Copeland, finds the experience "helpful/productive" and plans to incorporate more creative movement into his classroom. New STEAM content units will be developed monthly during the pilot year. Priscilla Kane Hellweg expresses enthusiasm for the innovative work at Mountain View School, while Megan Kelly-Bagg highlights the impact of STEAM education on students' learning experiences.
With the success of the 5th-grade team, the program aims to inspire more teachers to embrace creative arts integration in the coming years. The STEAM program, launched last year, is positioned to reach new heights by promoting collaboration among educators and introducing captivating, project-based learning opportunities into the academic day.