Workshop Descriptions

STEM to STEAM: Strategies for the K-2 Classroom

This hands–on workshop focuses on Grades K-2. After a short introduction describing STEAM and explaining needed 21st Century work skills, participants will become involved in two STEAM challenges that can bring engaged learning to the classroom through collaborative thinking.  Participants will receive a flash drive containing other age-appropriate STEAM challenges perfect for the lower elementary classroom and a list of internet resources. Be ready for active learning from start to finish in this workshop, as well as for tips to implement the STEAM challenges in your own classroom.

STEM to STEAM: Strategies for the 3-6 Classroom

This hands–on workshop focuses on Grades 3-6. After a short introduction describing STEAM and explaining needed 21st Century work skills, participants will become involved in two STEAM challenges that will bring engaged learning to the classroom through collaborative creative thinking.  Participants will receive a flash drive containing other age-appropriate STEAM challenges perfect for the upper elementary classroom and a list of internet resources. Be ready for active learning from start to finish in this workshop as well as tips for implementing the STEAM challenges in your own classroom.

Mary Lou HightowerMary Lou Hightower

Dr. Hightower works with watercolor media, incorporating textural materials to create what she calls “watercolor patchwork,” the process she uses to unite watercolor media with the art of quilting. The idea of watercolor patchwork grew out of her interest in folk arts, particularly the quilting process.

This Spartanburg artist, an associate professor of art at the University of South Carolina Upstate, developed an appreciation for quilting early in life. That interest was sparked by her grandmother, Emma Swartz, who was an avid quilter.

Dr. Hightower served for 30 years as a visual arts teacher and district art coordinator for Spartanburg School District 6 before joining the USC Upstate faculty.  She continues as an  elected official of the Spartanburg School District 6 School Board, where she has served for the past 13 years, constantly promoting the arts as an integral aspect of the school curriculum. The past two years she has been presenting participatory workshops for teachers for using STEAM strategies in their classrooms.