Students blowing off STEAM in new classroom at Floyd Central

Published: Nov. 19, 2019 at 5:41 PM EST
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Celebrating innovation and creating opportunities is what Floyd Central High School is doing with its new STEAM lab.

"The thing that excites me the most is the opportunity of the things that can happen in this room," said GEAR UP Academic Interventionist Tabitha Berger.

Berger said she was given the chance to attend an out-of-state conference, during which the STEAM room idea had a great impact. She said she knew it would benefit her students.

Principal Greta Thornsberry quickly agreed because she believes providing opportunity is the main goal. So, the school district helped secure a grant to fund the project.

"To bring the opportunities to them here in our building," Thornsberry said. "To help them get ready for life after high school."

From interactive robots to coding tools and circuitry, the newly-decorated room will be used to teach the principles of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. But those involved say the main lessons behind the hands-on environment go much deeper.

"It's okay to fail. You can make a mistake. Try this: Learn from that mistake," Berger. "Use it as a learning opportunity instead and then keep going. How can you adapt it and change it to make it work?"

Many people who used that trial and error process are honored in the murals that are present on the new wall wrap in the classroom. Berger said she wanted to display innovators in a timeline that shows how technology has contributed to the growth of the world in which we live.

That art was created by a couple of current students in Floyd Central's art program, then taken to Jaded Rayne Printing and Graphics where the final design was created. Superintendent Danny Adkins said designers who are graduates of the Floyd County School system also had a hand in the art.

"They had an opportunity to put their name on it. So this will be here for years to come, for them, their children, and grandchildren to see," Adkins said.

He said it is one way of showing students that the decisions and investments they are making today have real-world applications.

The room will soon display a mirror as part of the mural, under the words "Where could your innovations lead?" Berger says it will allow students to see themselves on the timeline, making a difference in the world.

The classroom was funded through the GEAR UP grant and a three-year grant obtained from the National Science Foundation in a partnership with Pikeville Independent Schools, Bit Source, Floyd County Schools, and the South Fayette Township School District in Pennsylvania.

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