Anchorage STrEaM Academy is a 6-8th grade charter school that is an interdisciplinary Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM)-based program, focused on experiential learning.
Anchorage STrEaM Academy's STEM-centered curriculum augmented with a rigorous study in the humanities will employ an experiential approach to education. Learning within Anchorage STrEaM Academy will be couched in research-based community projects and provide a vital link between learning targets and the students’ lives.
By connecting students with their community and adding much-needed relevance to the curriculum, Anchorage STrEaM Academy will go beyond measurable test results, challenging students to think critically and problem solve with confidence.
Gone are the ringing bells, rows of desks, and fill-in-the blank worksheets. For all or most of the day, students and teachers are engaged in challenging learning expeditions. They explore a topic or theme in depth by working on projects that call for intellectual inquiry, physical exploration, and community service.
On a given day, their explorations may take them outside the school building to do scientific research in natural areas, conduct interviews in local businesses, or carry out a range of other fieldwork assignments.
Each day provides opportunities for quiet reflection -- time for students to write in their journals, gather their thoughts, and reflect on what they have learned. Students work individually and in small groups. Together they learn to draw on the strengths of a whole class and are not separated into ability groups.
The schedule for a typical day at STrEaM does not look vastly different than other schools. There is time for Science, Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, and other, more specialized classes. The difference is the instruction delivery method.
Students tend to be more active in the learning process in our classrooms. Rather than teachers lecturing often or students doing worksheet after worksheet, students at STrEaM find themselves immersed in the content of the learning expedition and actively engaged in their own learning. With time scheduled in each week for interdisciplinary projects, students begin to test their new skills and understanding in real world applications. Students get to really dive into what they are learning by exploring, discovering, and asking questions.