Washington Elementary School fourth graders used their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) skills to work at solving an issue that confounds government and civic leaders: How can we as concerned responsible citizens help design eco-friendly solutions to help the homeless?
In problem solving the question over a month, students built prototypes to scale using thermal mass, overhang calculations and incorporated all 5 STEAM components. During that time, representatives from Loaves and Fishes, an organization that provides shelter, food and other services to the homeless met with the students. Students also met with members of the homeless division of the City of Sacramento Office of the Mayor and staff from City Council member Steve Hansen’s office and Sierra Journey.
Washington is located in Midtown, less than a mile from Loaves & Fishes. Homelessness is a major social concern in the neighborhood and in the city.
Teacher Rachelle Gray observed that the students’ attitude toward the homeless became more compassionate and matured into an understanding that the homeless are dealing with complicated issues.