For the second year, students at the Will Rogers Pre K Center got to work on some art projects with Kelle Jeffrey, their principal, and not only did that get one-on-one time with her but also they are helping to raise funds again for their hands on learning area or the “S.T.E.A.M. room.”
“Our S.T.E.A.M. room consists of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics,” Jeffrey said. “We’ve integrated art because it’s a true experience for the kiddos that they may not receive in other areas and it adds an aspect to their curriculum that they are already using.”
Last year Jeffrey said the art auction was a big help and they wanted to continue having fun making art and helping the S.T.E.A.M. room.
“With the funding from our silent art auction along with the DEx Awards, we were able to buy a magnetic board to put up pipes and learn flow of motion,” she said. “We were able to get a wind tunnel, we were able to get some big blue blocks for engineering, we increased the amount of materials in our art area and purchased some robotics materials as well for entry level coding learning.”
While pre K might seem early for some of these concepts — really it’s the perfect time developmentally and as part of Duncan Public Schools.
“So whenever we start to introduce them to materials at this age level it increases the positivity in their educational career and helping them already know the materials for ‘Project Lead the Way’ when it begins in Kindergarten,” Jeffery said. “So a lot of the students that are now in Kindergarten are familiar with using screwdrivers or hammers or range of motion and how things can flow due to gravity. All those big thoughts for little kids.”
The S.T.E.A.M. elements also are building the students brains with other skills from hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills to much more.
“When you are using tools … it also increases your dexterity and your fine motor skills and your pincher/grasp — those things that can help you color more in lines or later write your letter beautifully, it all works together,” she said.
There are some student lead works and then some collaborative works from the whole school and some with Jeffrey’s help also.
These works will be at Viridian Coffee as part of a silent auction from now to Oct. 31.
The pre K classes rotate and all get time in S.T.E.A.M. room where they can experience “meaningful play.”
“By giving all those areas that they can have open ended play in, we are allowing for them to have real engagement and play with hands on manipulatives,” she said.