Miami Beach Moves Full STEAM Ahead
(Miami Beach, FL) Sep 11, 2019 -
Starting this past January, the City of Miami Beach positioned its cultural institutions center stage in the public-school curriculum. Through its STEAM Plus program in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the arts and culture infused concept brought six of the city’s prestigious institutions — The Bass, Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, Miami City Ballet, New World Symphony, Wolfsonian-FIU and Young Musicians Unite — into the daily school curriculum of over 2,000 Miami Beach students.
“Over the years we have lost the arts in public schools to high stakes testing,” noted Mayor Dan Gelber. “Through STEAM Plus, we’ve made an unprecedented move as a municipal government to infuse our renowned cultural scene directly into our classrooms — and within the existing subjects of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.”
This school year, the city expanded its commitment by increasing funding by $372,000 for this fiscal year and expanding the program to Treasure Island Elementary and Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbour K- 8. It also introduced seven new cultural anchors to the program — Holocaust Memorial, Perez Art Museum, Miami Beach Bots, Miami Theatre Center, Miami Beach Conservancy Inc., Common Threads and Hack Shack.
The program’s rapid success has resulted in a STEAM designation for Miami Beach Senior High, Miami Beach Nautilus Middle, Miami Beach Fienberg/Fisher K-8 Center, North Beach Elementary, Miami Beach South Pointe Elementary and Biscayne Beach Elementary – marking an official STEAM designation for all 6 public schools on the urban island out of 121 schools districtwide.
Taught by some of the world’s greatest talent from museum curators to music prodigies, the STEAM Plus program animates children’s imaginations through art, music, drama and more. The Bass, for example, led biology classes that created three-dimensional beaded bracelets to teach students about DNA strands. Miami City Ballet has also taken over science classes by teaching students about push and pull physics via dance movements at Biscayne Elementary, while Young Musicians Unite has introduced a coding class in which students create music through code.
“We are introducing unconventional and effective learning — making our schools more competitive and continuing to invest in our children’s future,” added Mayor Gelber.
Click here to view the city’s STEAM Plus video and get an inside look on how arts-embedded teaching has made a difference in the lives of Miami Beach students.