November 8th marked a special day for Midway Hills Primary as they unveiled their innovative Book Vending Machine on National STEM/STEAM Day, transforming it into a festive celebration of STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Day. Principal Tara Burney shared her excitement, highlighting the school's commitment to promoting literacy and a love for learning. "We believe that access to books is crucial for fostering a passion for reading among our students," she said, "The Book Vending Machine not only makes books readily available but also adds an element of fun and excitement to the learning environment."
This unique approach to promoting literacy aligns seamlessly with the goals of National STEM/STEAM Day, encouraging students to explore science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Midway Hills Primary STEAM Teacher Katrina Veal said that reading is a vital component of science, and that she works to incorporate it throughout her STEAM activities, "one thing we do is called novel engineering in the STEAM lab where I read a story and the students identify the problem, who has the problem, and then how to solve the problem."
In addition to the book vending machine reveal, MHP created STEAM labs throughout the school, allowing students to create
volcanoes, do electronic activities on computers, solve science-related problems, and view a special Chemistry Magic Show performed by Georgia College & State University Director of Science Education Catrena Lisse. All of this lead up to the big reveal of the box that had been sitting in the hallway for a full week, enticing children to submit guesses about what might be inside.
Burney expressed gratitude for the support received from a grant from Communities in Schools and she highlighted the collaborative effort that went into bringing the Book Vending Machine to fruition. "Our school community, including teachers, and parents supporting the school’s Read-a-Thon, came together to make this project a reality. It's a testament to what we can achieve when we work together to support the education and well-being of our children," she remarked.
As the Book Vending Machine becomes a focal point for promoting literacy, Midway Hills Primary not only celebrates STEAM Day (or STREAM Day!) but also contributes to shaping a future generation of lifelong learners. The integration of technology, collaboration, and a passion for reading align with the spirit of National STEM/STEAM Day, embodying the essence of STREAM education at its finest.