The Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub sits under the umbrella of Douglas County Partners for Student Success (DCPSS) and offers an approach to teaching and lifelong learning that emphasizes the natural interconnectedness of five separate STEAM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

This integrated approach to learning creates problem-solvers, innovators, critical thinkers and collaborative team players.

To further promote STEAM-thinking in the classroom, our Resource Lending Library is an affordable and innovative way for in-classroom teachers to access STEAM-learning tools and to incorporate new activities into curriculum. Every teacher throughout Douglas County can sign up for a free account on our user-friendly web platform and browse an inventory of nearly 100 items.

The items available include an egg incubator, wind experiment kit, programmable drone and more! Our resources meet the learning needs of all age groups from pre-school to adults.

And now teachers can access STEAM lesson plans connected to many of the resources in the Resource Lending Library. Reserved equipment can be picked up at our library location on the Umpqua Community College campus or can be delivered to a school and picked up when you are finished. Due to COVID-19, we follow strict disinfection protocols.

We absolutely love partnering with schools to bring even more STEAM education to students. This past summer students in the Elkton Charter School District summer programs benefited from our resources.

“We wanted to have a lot of hands-on projects for students,” says Sarah Billings, a high school teacher at Elkton Charter High School.

Ozobots were a big hit. These tiny programmable robots introduce students to block coding and problem solving. The robots can be programmed to run routines, follow lines or do tricks.

Another immersive tool called zSpace allowed students to explore augmented reality, computer-aided design (CAD), science, anatomy and mechanics.

Additionally, Makey Makey (one of our newest resources) taught students about electrical signals and circuit boards by connecting everyday objects to computer keys.

While the students were busy learning, the teaching staff also tested out the resources and explored ways how the technical tools can be used in the future. “We are in awe,” Billings says while describing the resources. “We don’t need to spend money to purchase something we can check out.”

The wide range of resources available makes it easy for multiple schools to have access to various technologies at the same time.

Our community is fortunate to have dedicated partners who love promoting STEAM learning throughout Umpqua Valley to bring lifelong learners together.

If you’re a teacher in Douglas County, you’re invited to browse the Resource Lending Library at umpquasteamhub.org and sign up for a free account.

We are always looking for suggestions to add to our library and teacher-designed lessons that include the use of lending library equipment. Email your ideas to umpquavalleysteamhub@gmail.com.

Gwen Soderberg-Chase is the executive director of Douglas County Partners for Student Success and the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub. She has been an educator in Douglas County for more than 40 years and is currently an Associate Professor of Education at Umpqua Community College. She also serves on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Umpqua Valley.

React to this story:

1
0
0
0
1

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.