Event spotlights STEAM education

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By Emily Pollok

STEAMtastic Saturday is next weekend at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Lancaster, with fun activities and demonstrations for kids involving science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.
Lancaster County School District and Discovery Education are sponsoring the event, which aims to inspire the next generation of innovators, as well as prepare students to succeed in college and beyond. 
“STEAM education is incredibly important for today’s students,” said Stephen Wakefield, vice president of Discovery Communications, noting that STEAM encourages the 21st century skills needed for success outside the classroom.
District educators will staff grade-specific STEAM exploration stations, where students can learn to solve problems through a variety of activities, such as bridge-making and a balloon rocket race.
“A big part of STEAM education is giving kids the opportunity to solve real-world problems,” Wakefield said.
Wakefield said this method of learning also helps build critical and creative skills, as well as collaboration, and prepares children for jobs that may not have even been created yet.
In addition to the exploration stations, Lancaster County School District will be giving away 40,000 free books to students attending the event, which will also feature face-painting, caricatures and a photo booth.
Angela Vaughn, instructional specialist for teacher quality, said she would encourage families to come out to the event to see what the school district is doing as it continues to integrate STEAM into local education.  
STEAMTASTIC Saturday is from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 18 at First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 300 S. Market St., Lancaster.

Follow Emily Pollok on Twitter @PollokEmily or contact her at (803) 283-1155.