ATHENS, Ga. – You may be familiar with the term STEM, but what about STEAM? In the Barrow County School System, STEAM education is an innovative approach at teaching students the basics of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics in classroom settings.
STEAM Integration Coordinator Lee Bane is a veteran educator and a driving force in the Barrow County School System. Lee serves as Barrow County’s only STEAM Integration Coordinator and one of the few STEAM coordinators in the state of Georgia.
“I get to do what all teachers want to do. I get to enable teachers to do what they want to do in their classroom,” says Bane.
Bane facilitates bringing “the real world” into classrooms via live streaming to Promethian/SMART Boards so students and classroom teachers can see and interact directly with the zoo keeper of the Alaska Zoo, or the tribal leaders in Oklahoma just to name a few.
“All of our schools have chrome books, iPads, student and teacher PC’s, interactive whiteboards, very high bandwidth throughout our school system and wifi in all areas of all our schools,” Bane remarked.
Although Lee does not teach in the classrooms directly, he works closely with teachers and describes his relationship with them as an instructional coaching experience.
Bear Creek Middle School Teacher Ysheena Lyles works closely with Lee Bane on STEAM assignments and projects and says that technology has been a tremendous asset to the classroom.
“I find that technology, if used and implemented correctly, has a positive influence on education. It increases engagement and helps further the understanding from the students in my classroom,” Lyles explained.
Bane lives by the philosophy, “Whatever’s impossible today may not be impossible tomorrow” and is always seeking to enhance children’s learning through STEAM integration and the arts for many years to come.
By: Brittany Johnson