Launching problems, exploring answers, and defending reasoning are just some of the science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) initiatives Tyler Howe, alumnus of the master’s and doctoral program Educational Leadership and Foundations Department, has helped implement. Howe has helped renovate schools in the Granite School District to provide deeper learning opportunities for students.
“We’ve defined STEAM to relate far more to the ‘how we teach’ than the ‘what we teach.’ We’re trying to draw from the culture of the science, engineering, math, and other fields to capture a problem-solver’s culture in all of our disciplines,” explained Howe. “We want students to explore problems, test theories, and explain reasoning.”
STEAM helps students turn into thinkers, especially in the Granite School District, where Howe has helped schools turn into STEAM schools. In 2013, Howe opened the Neil Armstrong Academy based on STEAM values and renovated West Lake Junior High School’s ideology as well in 2015.
“I hope to see the focus on STEAM shape our education system to be more focused on the strategies and thought processes than on the right answer,” Howe said. “The right answers will come more abundantly with a larger focus on student strategies and thought processes.”
Howe discovered his passion for STEAM back when he first started his teaching career in mathematics. As a student, math had always been his favorite subject. Yet when he started to facilitate a discovery-based classroom as a teacher, he began to appreciate it much more. He can see now the growth in students from discovery-based learning.
“STEAM requires students to think about what they think about. It is insufficient to have students merely memorize procedures and mimic those procedures. We need thinkers. STEAM expects that,” Howe shared.
With the help of Howe, Granite School District students will be better equipped to help change the future. A better future for them is a better future for the world.