The Portledge STEAM Initiative brings together the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics in exciting new ways to prepare our students for the future.
The A in STEAM
There are many reasons why STEM has evolved to STEAM, that is, now includes the arts with the technical fields. Some are evident, such as the need for creativity. However, there is a more pedagogical reason that has to do with literacy. When scientists and students read a scientific journal article (or a textbook), the first thing they tend to do is look at the figures. A good figure (such as a graph, a diagram, or a photograph) can tell an important part of the story. It can be the key to decoding complex textual material. Therefore, reading literacy can be reinforced effectively by a Visual Arts curriculum, starting with early childhood and continuing throughout a child's education.
Artificial Intelligence: Students learn the ethical and practical uses of AI, how to create artificial intelligence, and how to implement AI in a swarm of miniature interacting robots.
Independent Science Research: This course isdesigned to provide students with a mentored research experience in pure and applied science. Emphasis is on the core research process and taking the students step-by-step from determining a research question to performing experiments, analyzing data, and evaluating the process and product. Students share their work through an oral presentation and a paper in the form of a scientific article.
Springtime is Symposium time. Following a keynote speech by a notable scientist, students in our research program present their findings through talks, demonstrations, and posters. Our first Portledge Science Symposium was held in April 2022 with Dr. Leemor Joshua-Tor, Portledge parent and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientist, as the keynote speaker. Our second Symposium was held in April 2023 with Mr. Wilson X. Guillory, Rutgers University Presidential Scholar, as the keynote speaker.
The STEAM Scholar Program is designed to celebrate a student's commitment to a broad interplay of technical courses. To qualify, students take an advanced course in each of the disciplines of the acronym: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. In addition, they prepare multimedia presentations in our Immersive Space and perform communication services in a STEAM field.
Portledge School has invited area educators to its campus for a conference on "Practical Uses of Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom". Co-hosted by NYSAIS, this interscholastic, in-person conference will focus on pragmatic "ground-level" classroom strategies.
3rd Grade STEAM Event: "Glowing Galaxies" Third-grade students designed and built glow-in-the-dark solar system models and "Martian Mazes". They then unleashed mini-robotic Hexbug toys to travel through the mazes.
4th Grade STEAM Event: Fourth-grade students used a combination of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics to create their very own technology town, "Portledge Paradise". The town included model houses which our young engineers illuminated with a series of electrical circuits. They also made "Magnet Mobiles," cars that move using the force of magnetism. The fourth-grade students did an amazing job teaching the Lower School students all about electricity and magnetism.
Portledge students have shown intense interest and participation in Division C of the annual Science Olympiad (https://www.soinc.org/). This event involves months of hands-on work and study by our students in diverse and rigorous fields including life sciences, astronomy, geology, physics, and technology. As a new team, we are pleased to have finished in the top tier of Long Island schools during the 39th Olympiad and look forward to the upcoming season.
*NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS Portledge School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. This policy applies to, but is not limited to, educational policies, admission, financial aid, hiring and employment practices, use of school facilities, athletics, and other school-administered programs.