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Our STEAM Vision:


“STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of future generations!” 

Our STEAM Principles of Learning:


Student and adult learners of the Ponus Ridge STEAM Academy will construct meaning and demonstrate understanding by:


  • providing opportunities for choice, productive struggle, and revision to foster and develop new understanding, while applying a growth mindset that encourages flexible thinking and perseverance.

  • engaging in problem-based learning approaches through hands-on experiences that foster personal interests and inspire creativity.

  • building an environment that cultivates positive relationships and promotes collaboration where students advocate for their own learning.



  1. We believe in the love of learning.

  2. We believe in a growth mindset for you and your students.

  3. We believe that children impact the world

  4. We believe in taking ownership for our learning.




  1. Learning is interdisciplinary and organized around relevant themes that capture student interests, real-world purpose and an authentic audience.

  2. The design based learning process is cyclical and bridges the gap between classroom learning, real-world applications and the meaningful integration of technology.

  3. A rigorous and relevant curriculum is not just interesting to students, but involves particular intellectual challenges.




  1. Students work collaboratively, engage in complex problem-solving, offer choice and promote risk-taking to support their learning.

  2. Culturally responsive classrooms are designed to shift the responsibility from teacher to student and provide optimal and individual support for learning.

  3. Learner-centered instruction includes a focus on divergent thinking, creativity and the art of questioning.




  1. Each child will create a digital portfolio that feature elements of their learning that reflect collaboration, creation, and critical thinking and provide opportunities for feedback.

  2. Assessments are designed for students to apply their learning in an authentic meaningful way to solve problems facing their community, country and the world.

  3. Students will reflect on their learning process and the quality of their product and share their learning with multiple audiences.


How teachers will work:

  1. Collaborative interdisciplinary teams.

  2. Highlight each other's strengths and weaknesses as a staff and being vulnerable.

  3. We are transparent, share and communicate consistently.

  4. Participate in team building to develop trust.



  1. Develop consistent instructional expectations and strategies.

  2. Build a toolkit of best practice strategies for STEAM teaching.

  3. Research and study authentic learning.