The Fresh Perspective: STEAMinar

Courtesy of PDS

Courtesy of PDS

Hayden Masia, Contributing Writer

With the beginning of this school year came the addition of the STEAM center, a place where science, technology, engineering, arts, and math finally have the perfect home at PDS. The new facility brings many exciting possibilities for students to explore not only the physical sciences and math more deeply but also the integration of art into these fields. Among the many opportunities resulting from the construction of the STEAM center was the new course for freshmen – STEAMinar.

Led by Upper School Science Fellow Thomas Pettengill, science teacher Charles Alt, math teacher William Asch, and STEAM Coordinator Jonathan Tatkon-Coker, the STEAMinar class meets once a cycle, delving into topics ranging from circuit boards, 3D printing, DNA extractions, and camera lenses. Within their first five STEAMinar sessions, freshmen have explored mechanics and basic circuitry.

In the first unit, each class began with video introductions to the concept of Rube Goldberg mechanisms. Classes were then split into teams, and each team was tasked with designing and executing a Rube Goldberg device. In the next unit on circuitry, the freshmen worked on proving Ohm’s Law by creating basic circuit boards using nails, a wood board, wires, resistors, and a solder (a metal used to fuse the wires to the nails).

Although this course has only been around for about two months, it has already made a huge impact on freshmen and the way they approach science. As freshman Brooke Littman said, “STEAM helps enrich my learning, and it helps open me [up] to new methods [of scientific experimentation].” This new class is sure to be one of the highlights of the year.

STEAMinar gives freshman new opportunities that were previously impossible without the state-of-the-art center. “In STEAMinar you get to do things that you would never expect to be able to do [otherwise],” stated freshman Sophie Difazio. The freshmen excitedly await all the fun, challenges, and unique possibilities to come. Let’s get STEAMy!