STEAM Consortium Lesson Plans

Sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, this professional-development program aims to improve teacher effectiveness by integrating Arts and STEM pedagogical practices.  The focus of the program is to promote Arts Education as an integral component of the curriculum, and to facilitate Arts integration with STEM curriculum through teacher professional development. Science, math, and technology teacher leaders from several New Jersey school districts in partnership with New Jersey teaching artists, and Rutgers faculty will engage in professional development designed to increase teacher effectiveness, facilitate creativity and innovation, and fulfill requirements of the New Jersey Curriculum Standards for Visual and Performing Arts.

The program is led by Primary Investigator on the grant, Dr. Saundra Tomlinson-Clarke, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology; and Co-Primary Investigator Dr. Penelope Lattimer, Director of the Rutgers Institute for Improving Student Achievement.

Click the corresponding links to view the STEAM Consortium White Paper.  Read more about the announcements here and here.

Lesson Plans

Jamesburg Public Schools
Middlesex County
Grace M. Breckwedel Middle School
Teacher Team:  Ms. Ellen Blashkovsky (Teacher, grade 8), Ms. Jennifer Morgart (Art Teacher), and Ms. Susan Strumwasser (Teacher, grade 6)
Principal: Dr. Gail Verona
The Jamesburg team developed several lessons integrating the arts and mathematics. Ms. Morgart and Ms. Susan Strumwasser developed a 6th grade lesson module in which students learned about the pyramids, hieroglyphics and explored proportions. Ms. Ellen Blashkovsky and Ms. Morgart integrated arts and mathematics, demonstrating the Golden Ratio in art and mathematics. Also, Ms. Blashkovsky developed a lesson on tessellations in which students created repeating patterns from a 3 x 3 square and also discovered the artwork of M. C. Escher.

Perth Amboy Public Schools
Middlesex County
William C. McGinnis Middle School
Teacher Team: Mr. Marc Taras (Science Teacher),  Mrs. Lindsey Tisch (Data/ Technology Teacher), and Mrs. Rachel Wintemberg (Art Teacher)
Principal: Dr. Myrna Garcia
Mrs. Wintemberg, Mrs. Tisch, and Mr. Taras integrated art, science, technology and math in a Unit Lesson on the solar system/plants. Connected themes were taught in art and science classes, and students used digital media to demonstrate understanding in each subject. Mathematics was integrated into the lessons to kinesthetically demonstrate the distance between planets and the sun. Each student group received an iPad to assist with the learning objectives.

Neptune Township Public Schools
Monmouth County
Gables Elementary School
Teacher Team: Mr. Nicholas Bowden (Art Teacher) and Ms. Karen Poll (Elementary Teacher)

Principal: Mrs. Sally A. Millaway
Mr. Nickolas Bowden and Ms. Karen Poll planned a lesson integrating the arts with grades 4 and 5 mathematics and science. The learning objectives of the lesson included (1) increasing understanding of the essential functions of the human eye and (2) creating two- and three-dimensional works of art from color, line, shape, form texture, and space. Lesson objectives included: 1) creating a pointillism to explore optics in creating colors from many small dots of pure color, 2) describing the interaction of parts of a system (whole), and 3) explaining how the eye takes in and sends information to the brain for processing.

Neptune Township Public Schools
Monmouth County
Neptune Middle School
Teacher Team: Ms. Ebony Lattimer (Science Teacher), Mr. Daniel Mullarkey (Mathematics Teacher), and Mr. Glen Swindell (Art Teacher)
Principal: Dr. Mark Alfone
The Neptune Middle School Team developed several connected lessons, integrating the arts, science and mathematics. Ms. Lattimer introduced proportion, pointillism and the work of George Seurat in the science unit on multicellular organisms. Fractions and proportions were reinforced in a mathematics lesson taught by Mr. Mullarkey. The lesson complemented previous lessons on proportion and fractions taught by Mr. Mullarkey. Arts learning was extended through the creation of museum boards, which provided a context for the Lascaux murals. This art lesson on murals and cave painting connected and deepened the experience with the arts, and introduced students to the arts, culture and human anthropology.

Plainfield Public School District
Union County
Barlow Elementary School (K-5)
Teacher Team: Ms. Kathy Maldonado (Music Teacher) and Ms. Linda Reid (Elementary Teacher)
Principal: Ms. Janet Grooms
Ms. Madonado and Ms. Reid infused mathematics, literacy and three art forms (i.e., music, visual and dance) in their lesson. Students learned about each subject area and read “The Skirt” by Gary Soto as they created skirts for their performance at the Hispanic Heritage Month assembly at their school. Taught within a cultural context, this lesson was relevant and meaningful to students.

Plainfield Public School District
Union County
Maxon Middle School
Teacher Team: Ms. Candace Curry and Mrs. Rebecca Allain
Principal: Dr. Reginald Davenport
Students experienced connections between self-perceptions, stereotypes and career development and choice by engaging in the lesson developed by Mrs. Allain. Working in groups, students explored art and science vocabulary and used evidence based learning and reflection to complete science class assignments. Ms. Curry developed two student-centered lessons connecting the arts and mathematics. Students engaged in reflective activities that demonstrated symmetry, fractions, parts of the whole, and percentages. Students also examined their relationship to one another and to the whole class, reinforcing cooperation and collaboration.

Plainfield Public School District
Union County
Hubbard Middle School
Teacher Team:  Ms. Victoria Leigh (Art Teacher), and Mr. Mark Toman (Science)
Principal: Mr. Kwame W. Asante
Integrating Art and Science, Ms. Leigh and Mr. Toman created lessons that demonstrated the concept of energy to 7th grade students. Both teachers focused on the theme of energy  and encouraged students to think about the concept of movement from multiple perspectives. In teaching about energy in science, Mr. Toman introduced the continental drift and the theory of convection. The same students were exploring energy and movement in their art class taught by Ms. Leigh. Students examined the movement of modern dances, then were asked how they would show movement? Using a wood block, a wire hanger, and hosiery, students engaged in kinesthetic learning and created sculptures. The sculptures created by the students also were used in their science class to represent concepts related to energy and movement.

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