Setting up students for future success includes teaching them relevant and in-demand skills to better prepare them for higher education and the 21st century. One approach that many schools have taken, including the Winneconne Community School District, is incorporating STEAM into their curriculum. STEAM is the educational approach of using science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in everyday learning. The STEAM approach provides students with opportunities to take risks, experiment, be creative, and problem solve, to ultimately cultivate greater learners and leaders.
With a grant from the Winneconne Area Education Foundation through the Winneconne Area Community Foundation, the Winneconne Middle School (WMS) hosted a Family STEAM Night to showcase what students have learned throughout the year. The highlight of the event was the exciting and interactive STEM-related activities facilitated by the UW-Oshkosh Outreach students. Middle and elementary school aged students, along with their families were the main target audience for the event. With all the money, time and planning that goes into hosting this large event, the school is only able to host the event every three years. On the off years, the middle school features a Showcase Night. This event gives students the opportunities to show off their science fair projects, demonstrate assignments and projects from their core and rotation classes, as well as featuring their artwork done throughout the year.
“It’s always wonderful for students to be able to showcase their creativity and hard work for their classmates and families. The pride they show in their work makes all the hours that go into planning and setting up this event worth it.” — Carly Horvath, WMS art teacher
This year, music was also incorporated into the showcase event with 35 pep and jazz band students performing throughout the night.
“Showcase Night gave the students an opportunity to
perform for a packed crowd. It gave them an extra chance
to explore jazz and pep band music that class time does
not offer.” — Stephanie Rahn, WMS band director
The Winneconne Area Community Foundation is committed to supporting education in the community by raising money for the Winneconne Community School District Endowment Fund. Their goal is to raise $10 million in 10 years. It will be a challenge, but with the continued support of the community and efforts by the foundation to educate the community on the endowment, it is achievable.
“As the word spreads, it is our hope that the school
endowment will be a key part of estate planning and a great way for families to leave their
mark on the community and the school district. What if a group would
have started this 40 years ago in Winneconne? Well, we are that group
starting now, so that 40 years from now there should be a very successful
endowment fund that is helping to support all the financial needs of the
district.” — Mike Vaughan, President of the Winneconne Area Community Foundation