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STEAM Program

Holding a Draft Horse

STEAM education is an approach to learning that uses hands-on opportunities in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics to increase critical thinking and problem-solving. This season, the education team is working full STEAM ahead, with big plans to share a variety of STEAM-based programs that aim to spark an interest and lifelong love of the arts and sciences in children of all ages. From the Grist Mill and Cabinet Shop to the farm, nature center, historic homes, and craft shops, the education team has developed engaging ways to tie the stories and programs at Sauder Village not only to history but to also show the connections to STEAM education.

Our Quilt Story – May 4 – 7
Our-Quilt-Store-programWe will be exploring how quilting is tied to social studies, science, math, and language arts! Discover techniques for assembling quilts. Explore patterns in nature while learning about fractals, concentric circles, and astronomical units. Explore the natural dyeing process and learn how quilters are mathematicians. Explore the Quilt Show to appreciate the fine craftsmanship of this traditional art.

Social Studies – “Our Quilt Story” begins at the Lauber Settlement and includes the Witmer Roth, Stuckey and Grime Homes. Learn how quilts were used in the past and discover the technique of cutting and assembling quilt blocks together relative to the time period in which the homes are set. Each historical interpreter in our homes will also explain cost and time saving inventions; and the type of quilt patterns that were popular at that time. 

Science - Exploring “Patterns in Nature” will be the focus in our Nature Center.  Learn about fractals, concentric circles, astronomical units, hexagons and Fibonacci numbers as they occur in nature.
In Anna’s Spinning Shop, guests can explore the natural dyeing process.  Here onion skins, berries, and other natural materials are being used to dye yarn to be used to weave into fabric. Compare colors and how the sun is used to heat the dye and its effect on color. 

Math - Every quilter is a mathematician. Understanding how shapes fit together to form other shapes requires fundamentals of geometry.  Calculating and measuring necessary yardage, estimating how many patches of each shape and color to cut, figuring the cost of materials to finish the project is definitely a work with numbers!  In the District 16 schoolhouse, guests will have the opportunity to use geometry in designing their own quilt blocks.  Understanding how shapes fit together and visualizing how those shapes can form a balanced pattern is the school lesson here.  Children will be able to use a hands on interactive to assist them in their learning.  

Power Wranglers – May 11-13 and May 18-20
Power-Ranglers-programLearn how water was harnessed to grind grain and how harnessing the power of wind made life easier historically (and make connections to today’s wind turbines too!). Learn how foot-powered tools made it easier to make furniture, how animals were used on treadmills to save hours of manual labor on the farm and explore the workings of the Model T engine.

The Power of Water at the Gristmill will be demonstrating all day how the power of water grinds grain into flour.

The Power of Wind and The Power of the Hand Water Pump at the Grime Homestead will have continuous programming from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm to demonstrate how wind power was used on a farm by utilizing our hand water pump. Connections will be made to today’s windmills and the benefits of using this green energy source. 
Foot Power at the Sauder Cabinet Shop explores how foot powered tools made it easier for a cabinetmaker to make fine furniture in the 1880s.

Tread Power in the Stuckey Barn will definitely enlighten students in how the use of animals on treadmills saved hours of manual labor on the farm at 10:00 and 11:30 am for a 10 minute presentation.  

The Power of Design at Rich Auto Dealer and Gas Station will be open all day for students to learn how Henry Ford challenged his engineers to produce a simple engine so it could be mass manufactured.

The Power of a Gasoline Engine will be shown in the Grime Barn with a Hit-and-Miss engine at 11 am and 12 pm for a 10 minute presentation.  

Word Gets Around – May 25 - 28 and June 1 - 4
Word-Gets-Around-programPrograms this week will show how communication methods have changed over time.  Starting with handwritten messages, technology brought communication from the simple to the complex and from personal to mass media.  

Social Studies and Science - 

The Log School will begin with the history of pens and pencils.  Guests will even have the opportunity to write with a quill pen!

Writing letters was the first widely used form of non-verbal communication between individuals. At the Stuckey home, guests will learn about the beginnings of the USPS and how Mrs. Stuckey mailed a letter in the 1870s.

Using the semaphore system to convey messages is the lesson at the District 16 schoolhouse. Guests will have the opportunity to use reproduction flags to communicate their own message to their classmates.

Highlighted in the W.O. Taylor Print Shop are not only newspapers but printing presses too.  See how technological improvements of these machines allowed newspapers to be printed frequently and more economically thus becoming a popular form of communication. 

Stotzer’s Hardware will have a 1925 AC Dayton radio playing a 1920s program while the historic interpreter explains the how the radio linked Americans as never before.  

The Oakley Barbershop might be a surprise as a recommended stop on our communication timeline. But the Barbershop was an important Saturday morning ritual for the men of the town to listen to the radio, read a newspaper and acquire the latest news from other people along with their weekly shave.  Learn the importance of this mainstay business in most 1920s towns.  

Guests will be able to send a telegraph message in the Elmira Depot while learning this dash and dot system of communication.  The history of this highly successful communication system will be shared and how its main drawbacks led to the invention of the telephone.

Probably one of the most impactful communication inventions was that of the telephone.  Students will be able to see the many historical models of the telephone over the years from the 1882 Magneto Wall Set telephone in the Grime home to the rotary dial telephone to the push button dial telephone to the cellphone.  

In our museum, an exhibit on communication has been completed and is a great way to spend some time looking at communication past the telephone!

Potter demonstrating
Cooking in the 1920s home