The “STEAM” in STEAM lab stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Completed with the last expansion of the Cayman International School, it is a lab that has lots of new technology and engineering equipment.
All Cayman International School students have access to use the equipment, provided they have permission to do so from the technology teacher.
According to the middle school technology teacher Mr. Shaun [Schaller], iMac computers have been the most effective and commonly used pieces of technology equipment. The iMac computers have software downloaded on them that allow students to experiment with vector- and pixel-based graphics editing, video production, computer programming and more.
The STEAM lab also plays an important role in student projects. One project instructed students to program a robot to precisely navigate a maze or sense and respond to its environment. Another had them applying the design cycle to create coded games using the software program “Scratch.” Students have developed products using the programs TinkerCAD and Sculptris, and have done rapid-prototyping using a 3D printer. Students also use the Adobe Creative Cloud suite to fine-tune photography and create thoughtful designs in Photoshop or Lightroom.
There are many other great resources aside from iMacs in the STEAM Lab. There is a Prusa i3 3D printer that students can use to design computer models and then make models out of plastic. Students can use Lego Mindstorms kits to build robots or use Makey Makey to turn everyday objects that conduct energy — like fruit, copper or water — into touchpads. When the touchpads are hooked up to a computer, students can make games, instruments and more.
The approach to learning used in the STEAM lab incorporates science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics into problem-solving learning. In the STEAM lab, students are encouraged to take risks, to experiment, to reflect and to use what they have learned to make better-informed decisions about the world around them.
Ellie Nickason is a 12-year-old student in Grade 7 at Cayman International School.