STEAM in Early Primary

Area(s) of Focus: technology, math, kindergarten, curriculum
Division(s): Primary
Level(s): Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3

Develop and implement Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) activities in the kindergarten and primary classrooms that will help differentiate instruction, integrate curriculum expectations and support inquiry-based learning.

Teachers will engage in collaborative inquiry through formal and informal meetings to strengthen and develop our professional knowledge on how to utilize STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) activities in kindergarten and the early primary classroom.  We will investigate the use of different building materials to engage students in STEAM activities. We will explore various ways for students to demonstrate their learning using technology (iPads and Chromebooks). We will develop a STEAM resource that will be accessible to share with others.

Team Members

  • Terri Levitt-Chipman

    Niagara Catholic District School Board

  • Melissa Maney Worden

    Niagara Catholic District School Board

  • Theresa Stevenson

    Niagara Catholic District School Board

Professional Learning Goals

  • We researched and investigated various STEAM activities
  • We developed and implemented STEAM activities in the kindergarten and primary classrooms that differentiated instruction and integrated curriculum expectations that supported inquiry-based learning
  • We explored documentation tools such as Google Keep and Google Forms

Activities and Resources

Release time was used to meet as a team to investigate and later develop STEAM activities. Curriculum expectations were explored to promote inquiry-based learning for students and develop concrete ways to assess and support their learning with the use of iPads and Chromebooks. Team teaching was explored to implement inquir-based learning and STEAM opportunities.

We found knowing the curriculum expectations assisted us well in developing STEAM activities.

The resources purchased were open-ended building materials such as LEGO, Kapla Building Blocks, Tinkertoys, engineer block kits, magnetic tiles, magnetic tangrams, Playstix and Magnetic Stix.  Having these materials at hand provided many opportunities for the students to engage in STEAM activities using a variety of materials.

We referenced many online websites, blogs and Twitter feeds which assisted in deepening our understanding of STEAM activities.

Unexpected Challenges

  • Shortage of supply teachers in our board
  • Choosing to keep the money in a board account and having conflicts with it being properly balanced

Enhancing Student Learning and Development

Students looked forward to the challenge of STEAM activities and enjoyed sharing their learning. There was an increase in student engagement.

Students who struggle with paper/pencil tasks had opportunities to excel in STEAM activities and meet curriculum expectations in a variety of ways. These STEAM activities promoted responsibility, collaboration, independent skills, organization, self-regulation and initiative. STEAM activities promoted innovative and creative thinking. Students developed perseverance.


A STEAM Club was started with the Grade 1 teachers who invited the kindergarten students and the kindergarten teachers during afternoon recess. Grade 1 teachers led kindergarten students in STEAM challenges and modelled STEAM activities and extensions that they can bring back to their kindergarten classrooms.

STEAM challenge activity cards were shared with colleagues who we collaborate with from other schools, as well as school and board staff.

Project Evaluation

Our project was a success! We feel like we have met our goals of creating and implementing STEAM activities that differentiate instruction, integrate curriculum expectations, support inquiry-based learning, and develop assessment tools that supported teacher and student learning.

We know we have met our goals because we have created STEAM cards for the year that meet curriculum expectations. We had a successful STEAM Club where students were engaged regardless of their academic ability. We have developed assessment tools in Google Forms and tracked documentation through Google Keep. We have shared our learning with our kindergarten teachers for them to bring back to their classrooms. We have integrated curriculum expectations into inquiry-based learning into our daily plans which allows for students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways including the use of iPads and Chromebooks.