Education in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is of growing importance at many schools. More and more libraries, schools and museums in the greater Cleveland/Akron area are featuring STEM makerspaces and idea labs. Here are a few:
Akron Children’s Museum
ACM’s collaboration with local educators, artists and makers results in S.T.E.A.M Team Saturdays, which are unique and exceptional programs that occur every Saturday from 1-2 p.m. (free for members; $5 for non-members). Each Saturday offers a fun approach to a different STEAM theme, such as Maker Workshop, Theatre Workshop with Wandering Aesthetics, smART Workshop with smARTStudios, and STEM Workshop For Early Learners. 216 S. Main St., Akron, 330-396-6103, akronkids.org
In Hathaway Brown’s IDEA (Innovation, Design, Engineering and Art) Lab, students explore engineering concepts, work with high-tech machines, discover creative ways to overcome obstacles, and bring their ideas to life. Under the guidance of HB alumna Leah Ridgeway Jackson ’99, an engineer, girls in preschool through 12th grade learn STEM through hands-on projects.
19600 N. Park Blvd., Shaker Hts., 216-932-4214, hb.edu
Lake Ridge Academy
Lake Ridge Academy’s K-12 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts/design, mathematics) curriculum encourages innovative thinking and problem solving and is augmented by extensive hands-on learning opportunities delivered inside one of the most advanced science and engineering facilities in the area. Its graduates are often sought by leading engineering and research universities.
37501 Center Ridge Road, North Ridgeville, 440-327-11755. lakeridgeacademy.org
Menlo Park Academy
It’s full STEAM ahead in Menlo Maker Spaces. Menlo Park Academy expanded its Technology encore course to include topics in STEAM. Students are combining art, engineering, technology and design in two unique maker spaces within the buildings. Projects include making pop-up books and creating logos for Fortune 500 companies.
2149 W. 53rd St., Cleveland, 440-925-6365, menloparkacademy.com
Royal Redeemer Lutheran School
Royal Redeemer Lutheran School is passionate about inspiring students to learn, as highlighted in its Preschool STEM Program. Through open-ended questions, learning centers and experiments, students problem-solve through play to study sound, weather, buoyancy, aerodynamics, seasons, magnets, physics, microbiology and more — practicing fine motor, teamwork and social skills in a Christ-centered environment.
11680 Royalton Road, North Royalton, 440-237-7988, rrls.org
St. Mary of the Assumption School
St. Mary of the Assumption School has implemented a new STEM program, Project Lead the Way (PLTW). The students are exposed to an inquiry-based collaborative learning environment that inspires creativity and innovation. PLTW brings learning to life. Students become designers, builders and developers through relevant hands-on projects. They are challenged to collaboratively solve real-life problems that build upon each other and relate to the world around them. Students have had an opportunity to work on some of the following projects: construct a compound machine to rescue a tiger; design a solution to limit the impact of erosion; construct a robot to dispose of materials safely; develop a vehicle restraint system and more.
8540 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-255-9781, stmarymentorschool.org
St. Sebastian Parish School
St. Sebastian Parish School is a State of Ohio STEM designated school and most recently received The Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education and Student Research. In the classroom as well as the school’s Innovation lab, students participate in hands-on, inquiry- and problem-based learning that is cross-curricular and features collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
500 Mull Ave., Akron, 330-836-9107, stsebastian.org
St. Vincent de Paul Parish School
St. Vincent de Paul Parish School is dedicated to inspiring a love for learning and empowering students to reach their potential in spiritual growth, academic achievement, creativity and citizenship. The students receive opportunities and experiences that develop their skills and talents to solve real-world problems. As a state STEM designated school, it integrates the research-based best practice of problem-based learning in its curriculum. The school partners with community groups and businesses to help bring awareness to their causes and collaborates on a variety of projects.
17 S. Maple St., Akron, 330-762-5912, stvincentelementary.com