STEAM Powers Education
Northside is a STEAM school. What does this mean? It means our philosophy is that as education is better when it mirrors the real world. STEAM encourages students to learn how the subjects work together and how every occupation uses science, technology, engineering, the arts and math every day to solve its complex problems. Instead of rote memorization and redundant worksheets, our students collaborate to work on projects using the STEAM design process:
- Define the Problem
- Plan Solutions
- Make a Model
- Test the Model
- Reflect and Redesign
- Repeat process at any point
Northside is proud to host the Dow Aquaponics Lab. This project was funded by a generous donation from DOW. Aquaponics is a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) system where aquariums housing fish provide nutrients to plants and the plants in turn filter the water and provide nutrients back to the fish. Our school is excited about the community partnerships that have formed. Through learning how to grow their own fruits, vegetables and herbs, the Northside students are becoming prepared to contribute to the sustainability of their communities.
Besides the heightened excitement of learning at Northside, there is a peaceful and tranquil nature habitat located directly behind our building. There you will find a garden where our students plant vegetables and care for them, a greenhouse, two ponds that are stocked with goldfish and turtles, beautiful and lush greenery, and several seating options.
You will often see our students reading or writing in the habitat, having lunch with staff, or just enjoying a quiet moment outside with nature. In our busy world, students need time with nature. We are fortunate at Northside to have just a place, and it is absolutely beautiful!
During the 2018-2019 school year, the students at Northside worked together to create a ceramic tile mural showing the 423 migratory birds of Brazoria County. Using augmented reality, the students attached videos about each bird to its corresponding tile. The mural is now a permanent educational resource that can help every grade level learn about science. In the 2019-2020 school year, the students will learn more about birds during their Friday STEAM time in a curriculum developed by Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab.
Northside STEAM Ambassadors have presented projects, curriculum and best practices for STEAM education at conferences around the state.