The Owego Apalachin (OA) Central School District is partnering with industries in the community to promote STEAM learning. STEAM programs, science, technology, engineering, art or agriculture, and mathematics, are now being introduced to OA students as early as preschool in order to expose students to the growing field while they’re young.
OA’s prekindergarten through fifth grade students get early exposure to coding. In middle school, students are exposed to STEAM programs regarding agriculture for example, with aquaponics and robotics. While in high school, OA students get on a pathway to their future careers.
“We can’t just offer traditional education, we have to provide experiences for students to make them well-rounded,” said Corey Green, superintendent of OACSD, about STEAM programs.
In each program, Green says, students learn the four Cs – creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. These principles help guide students along paths in which they would like to pursue for a career.
Much like a college program where a student interested in the medical field takes med-based classes, a student at OA interested in a medical career focuses on science-based classes while in high school.
Currently, OA offers paths for students interested in health and science, business, agriculture, humanities and more. With the focus on STEAM programs, students are better prepared to enter these fields because of the hands-on learning they experience in school.
“Our economy deals with robotics and machinery now,” Green said about a specific robotics class helping students that are entering multiple fields.
On Friday, Jan. 25, OACSD held a Collective Impact Team meeting in order to “developed a strategic plan around academic excellence, where students encounter unique opportunities through community partnerships,” wrote Luke McEvoy of OA Central School District.
Here, the community partners including representatives from Binghamton University, Lockheed Martin, the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce, Guthrie Healthcare and more, brainstormed ideas that would help students enter the advancing workplace.
“The bigger the group,” Green said, “The bigger ideas.”
It’s Greens hope that by piquing interest in STEAM fields, that students will return to the community to better it in the future.
“They can be here and be entrepreneurs,” he said wishfully and confidently.