STEAM in the classroom


Dr Michael Harvey is an ISTE global PLN chair, pedagogical prognosticator, Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert and is currently teaching at Marlborough International College, Malaysia. On his recent visit to New Zealand he organised a contemporary cross curricular lesson for two of our Pupuke Kāhui Ako schools.

On Thursday 9th August, Year 10 STEAM students from WGHS arrived at their English lesson to find a chalk outline of a body and a crime scene that they needed to investigate. Was it an accident or was it murder most foul?

First students studied the chronology – what happened when – and the conclusions that could be drawn from this. Then they were asked to examine the evidence that they had found in the room, including fingerprints, a bad school report for a student from the class, a viola, some tap shoes, a STEAM textbook, a leaf blower, chewing gum, and a bloody handprint. Drawing inferences from the clues, students came up with a scenario for what happened in the classroom. It was an engaging and interesting introduction to crime scene investigation and the students practised a number of skills which we encourage in STEAM – collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, communication, and using evidence to support a hypothesis.

Putting together all the clues was like a puzzle. It was fun.
I was intrigued by how we had to solve the unexplained death of our English teacher.
It was frustrating that there wasn’t a correct answer at the end but that was good learning for us.
I found it engaging, mind-boggling and I liked the team work.

The scenario for the at WBHS was modified and the Year 11 Science students had the opportunity to investigate the theft of the Fractional Distillation Apparatus from their classroom.


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