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Wilkinson Elementary builds up ‘STEAM’ with monthly events

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SARASOTA, Feb. 23, 2017 – Wilkinson Elementary School is hosting STEAM Family Involvement Nights on the fourth Thursday of each month from January through May.  

Each of the five nights center around one of the aspects of STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics), with the goal of celebrating learning together with students and their families. The events run from 5:15-7:30 p.m., with dinner from 5:15-6 p.m., and hands-on activities from 6-7:30 p.m. Dinner for all of these evenings is being provided by Uncommon Kids, one of the school’s business partners.   

The January “Super Science” night welcomed 105 students and their families, who participated in interactive presentations and activities based on the science theme and sponsored by local businesses and community members.  

On Thursday, Feb. 23, the school will host Technology Time. The event will include a coding session for the computer game Minecraft, activities based on Bricks for Kids (Lego interactives), and guests from the Brookside Middle School Robotics Club, The Florida House and Faulhaber Fab Lab.

On Thursday, March 23, the theme will be Exploring Engineering. The event will include Bricks for Kids with five engineering activity stations, the planning of an outdoor Butterfly Garden partially underwritten by Cawley Construction and in partnership with the school district’s Facilities Services Department, and other activities sponsored by Engineering for Kids Sarasota, the Florida House, the Siesta Key Trolley and The Home Depot.  

The themes for the two remaining STEAM Nights, April 27 and May 25, will be Arts Awareness (music, dance, drama and the visual arts) and Magnificent Math, respectively.

Wilkinson plans to continue building up STEAM after that. Its long-term vision is a STEAM Courtyard. Principal Susan Nations explained that the concept “is being developed by our staff and students, and funded through grants and local support. Our courtyard, nestled under live oak trees, is currently dormant space. We envision the area busting with outdoor, hands-on STEAM learning stations for students and teachers, as well as a butterfly garden, complete with a ‘butterfly nursery’ and observation area. We’re excited about our STEAM Nights and our future STEAM Courtyard!”

Wilkinson Elementary School is located at 3400 Wilkinson Road, Sarasota. 

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