The Ohio State University at Lima

STEAM on the Quad spreads influence into future classrooms

photo of alumnae Casey Dicke (right) at 2019 STEAM on the Quad

Educators from across the experience spectrum were out in force for the fourth annual STEAM on the Quad at The Ohio State University. The students in their current and future classrooms will feel the benefits of the activities focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.

Elmwood Primary teacher and alumnae Casey Dicke (BS 2017) returned to campus to help with the area devoted to Allen County’s SESA, or Science Enhancement for Science Advancement. Dicke was already familiar with the STEAM on the Quad concept. It began her senior year in early childhood education at Ohio State Lima. Today, she is a teacher at Elmwood Primary School in Shawnee and STEM has a home in her classroom.

“A lot of kids cannot learn paper/pencil so a lot of hands on activities help them with their fine motor skills and working the other side of their brains to learn,” Dicke said. “I think STEAM on the Quad definitely bridges education into the community and STEAM activities. Parents really get involved and they know exactly what different programs are available to help their students learn.”

The SESA science and math projects, which included Newton’s Laws of Motion, were set up in the midst of tables of the science and math methods students and the non-Newtonian fluid Oobleck manned by the Education Club. Dicke was happy to see them participating and interested to see what projects and concepts she could incorporate into her classes.

“I think this is awesome for the Education Club and students to be part of because they are definitely seeing all different kinds of ideas they could bring into their classrooms after they graduate,” Dicke said.

Education major Kenna Rice (right) at STEAM on the Quad 2019.

As an early childhood education major, senior Kenna Rice will be able to teach pre-school through fifth grade when she graduates. She has volunteered at STEAM on the Quad for several years and enjoys seeing the community come together to put it together.

“I love to see the different ideas that other people come up with and also be active on my own with things that come through,” Rice said. “I gather a lot of good ideas on how to use STEAM in my own classroom. I will also be more familiar with how to adapt experiments for different students.”

Rice manned the “Spaghetti Set Go!” project table as part of her science and math methods class. Her professor, Leslie Phlipot, requires her students to attend the community event. Interacting with young children in a learning situation outside the classroom builds the college students’ abilities to guide learning, encourage the development of critical thinking, and focus on student-centered learning.

“They are using what they are learning in the field and in the classroom and then they are applying it to a real life situation,” Phlipot said. “When you are in the community and you are working with kids that you have never seen before, it teaches them to be patient. It teaches them to, basically, let kids do the learning. We definitely want the learning to be student centered. Here they allow the kids to investigate, they allow the kids to do the measuring, they allow the kids to the hands on and they just facilitate. They guide them.”

STEAM on the Quad is a fast-paced, fun event that often finds the activity hosts surrounded by young, inquiring minds of various ages. Successfully navigating the experience gives Phlipot’s students another great place to begin discussing their futures with potential employers. Participating in STEAM also gives the future teachers a place to practice professionalism while giving back to the community, a skill they will need throughout their educational careers.

“I want them to learn that giving back to the community is just as important as being in the classroom every single day,” Phlipot said.

The 2020 STEAM on the Quad will be held at The Ohio State University at Lima on Sat., Sept. 26, 2020.

STEAM on the Quad was developed through a partnership between The Ohio State University at Lima and OSU Extension and is a collaboration between Ohio State Lima and the 4-H programs of Putnam, Hardin, Allen, Hancock, Lucas, Auglaize and Logan counties counties with support from the Patricia Kunz Brundige Youth Development Fund for Positive Youth Development Research.