Southeast Honors Student Urges Children, Families to go Full STEAM Ahead

robotics-racing-croppedChildren in grades K-5 and their families are invited to an evening of fun Nov. 10 in Jackson, Missouri, where they will challenge each other to robot racing, learn the language of computers, explore math with interactive games, harness the power of electricity and get in touch with their inner artist.

It’s all part of a STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math – event organized by Southeast Missouri State University honor student Chloe Dunaway of Rolla, Missouri, for her honors project this fall. The event is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. at Jackson North Elementary.

Dunaway has planned activities, recruited volunteers, and with the help of iPads and Jackson North Elementary STEAM Club members hopes to build a community of smart-thinking, problem-solving, 21st century students. Families will participate in activities at various stations, eat pizza and get a free book relating to STEAM education.  At each station, children will take part in an activity and then be given a handout with home activity ideas.

In addition to this project, Dunaway, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Education, early childhood education option, is working on a second honors project related to learning activities families will take home that evening to continue with their children. The honors project also involves Dunaway conducting research relating to this project. She will be interviewing teachers, surveying families and examining student test scores to determine if the family event impacted teacher and parent attitudes about STEAM education and student learning in math.

The activities are partially funded by an undergraduate research grant written by Dunway, Dr. Susan Davis, assistant professor of elementary, early and special education, and Dr. Julie Ray, chair of the Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education. Dunaway was awarded $500 for this project and will present her research results in the spring at Southeast’s annual Student Research Conference.

Dunaway is completing the Jane Stephens Honors Program that helps Southeast students stand out from their peers. The program offers educational opportunities tailored to the special needs, aspirations and motivations of students whose intellectual and creative abilities are outstanding.