Welcome to the STEAM-Powered Classroom! STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, where education and life are deliciously intertwined. Our classroom incorporates the home, public school, private tutors, university offerings, online education, and entrepreneurship. We value creativity, hands-on learning, child-centered approaches, insatiable curiosity, empowerment, and compassion. We seek to make ourselves the very best we can be so that we can in turn have a positive impact on our crazy, complicated world.
STEAMPoweredClassroom.com is formerly “Dirt Under My Fingernails” that was found at gwynridenhour.wordpress.com. As in the earlier site, you’ll find personal examples of our family’s educational journey, book and resource recommendations, curricula and project ideas, musings on education philosophy, and practical advice to help you get your child the best education possible. As a children’s librarian, I love to connect people with fabulous resources, and will support you in any way I can. I always respond to reader comments and questions, so please feel free to use them!
Why STEAM-Powered Classroom?
The emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) has been sweeping our country’s educational reform movement for some time now, as there is a general feeling that we are short-changing our students in these areas. However, there are many voices who also feel that the arts are also an area where we are woefully lacking, and its omission is stunting our kids’ development of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. So we stick the “A” in and get STEAM. We’re huge proponents of STEAM in our home, and we are generous to the “A” and let it include the humanities as well. I mean, you could call it SHTEAM, but now you’re just getting silly.
Steampunk, for the uninitiated, is an artistic movement and science fiction sub-genre that’s been gaining popularity over the last decade or so. Stay with me here: imagine being transported back into the Victorian era, but having a lot more technology and badassness. This is the essence of Steampunk. There are a lot of brass and leather workings, rivets, goggles, and dirigibles (AKA blimps), and of course everything is steam-powered. It’s an aesthetic that takes the old and re-imagines it with a little more funk, and a lot more tech. That’s kind of what we’re trying to do in our home. We’re honoring the parts of education that work and tinkering with them, making them more funky, more relevant, and more beautiful. If you still don’t have a grasp of Steampunk, just give it a Google and click on “Images.” You’ll get the idea.
Please take your own tour of the site. I’ve worked to make my posts’ categories clear and easier to navigate. You’ll also find a new, extensive plethora of great books, games, and tools up there under the “Resources” tab. If you find links that don’t work or photos that are missing, or if you experience any other technical issues or simply have questions, please be sure to let me know. I want this to be a totally positive experience for you.
Also, if you want to know more about the site and our work, be sure to look at the very top of the page and click on “About.” You’ll find the text I’ve included above, but also more on our history and background. I’m so happy you’re here!
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