This year, The Langley School hosted its first-ever STEAM Fair to celebrate its interdisciplinary, inquiry-based approach to learning and discovery through science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. In keeping with the school’s Arc of Development model, which underscores the ways in which the curriculum builds upon itself, the hands-on activity stations spanned all ages.
More than 300 members of the school community got their hands dirty in fun, interactive challenges. Students and parents built the tallest spaghetti tower that supported a single marshmallow, created a lunar lander that prevented a marshmallow from bouncing out when it landed, and made foil boats that kept the most plastic bears afloat. Creativity and problem-solving skills were also essential in painting works of art based on NASA images of our galaxy, and in building popsicle-stick windmills and paper airplanes that carried the most weight.
The Fair also featured STEAM project displays from throughout the year, including sophisticated Middle School technology demonstrations, a hover board built by a seventh grader, and custom-designed “monsters” with flashing LED lights created by fourth graders during a week-long STEAM immersion.
Students took risks in testing and refining their ideas because “they had the freedom to innovate while working toward a goal or within certain constraints,” says the Fair’s co-chair and faculty member, Mollie Morneau. “Activities were intentionally designed to allow for multiple interpretations or solutions—there isn’t just one ‘right’ answer. The event also brought our community together, underscoring one of our core values—the necessity and power of parent/teacher/student partnerships.”