When students enter a STEAM lab, they embark on an adventure. Student – “When we first came in here, I’m like, ‘Whoa!’ ” Student: “It’s amazing!” A place where every student, in every grade, gets to touch, explore, and learn. Teacher – “It’s in the kids hands, so it’s not just in a textbook.” Troxell Solutions builds labs from conception to reality, to expose students to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Terra – “The students will actually take it further. They’ll go beyond the curriculum. And that’s what we want. That’s what we see is so powerful.” Dr. Angelia – “When I heard her ideas and how it would push the learning for our students, I jumped on board.” Jerabek Elementary recently opened it’s STEAM Lab. On one side is a MakerSpace, with low tech materials. Terra – “It gives students so much creative momentum.” On the other side, state of the art technology for learning. “Everything in the lab is mobile. So if a teacher wanted to use it in their classroom, they absolutely could.” And no two labs are alike. Based on a school district’s needs, Troxell customizes every part of the space. Different variations of furniture and color really geared towards working collaboratively, but also working with Technology Troxell works with the makers of all high-tech educational tools, so the devices can be handpicked to fit a district’s curriculum and goals. Student – “…proud of yourself because you made the thing and it’s actually working.” Admittedly, technology can be daunting to teachers and administrators. Dr. Angelina – “I had to get up to speed of, ‘What are my students actually learning in the lab?’ ” So Troxell provides comprehensive professional development. Terra – “So the goal in the lab is that the teacher is not necessarily teaching. They’re guiding. The teachers, when they came in to a class and they say the excitement in those students eyes, and the learning that was happening and the engagement, every teacher just jumped on board.” Teacher – “I see in their faces pure joy. Pure joy when they come here. Teacher – “Oh, I see excitement…amazement, that, you know, ‘Wow! This can work!’ ” The STEAM activities build in rigor. Student – “It tests our brains in ways that we’ve never used it before.” Student – “It’s…it’s a bit stressful.” Dr. Angelina – “We want them to struggle. It’s okay for students to struggle, because that pushes their learning.” Student – “We try to learn from our mistakes and make it better.” Student – “We keep trying, and keep trying.” Student – “And you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh! It’s working! Eureka!’ ” Those challenges and victories build on each other. Terra – “Everything that they’re doing is going to actually prepare them for the next grade level.” And over time, this exposure creates career pathways for students to explore and even find their passion. Terra – “Learn in the way that best suits them and motivates them the most.” The experiences in the STEAM Lab are not separate from, but rather supplement, common core lessons. Teacher – “I am most definitely a better teacher by being able to take what I’m teaching in the classroom, bring it here to the lab, and actually really bring it to life.” Teacher – “They are being stretched and challenged like never before.” Districts have found that when a comprehensive plan is in place, put together by Troxell, doors open to funding and grants. Student – “Because I like having fun, and I like learning, and putting them together is like the best thing in the world.” Let the adventure begin!