DaVinci: A Role Model for
STEAM Education

Leonardo Da Vinci may seem an unusual role modle when you think of science. However, the more you learn about this remarkable Renaissance Man, the more you will realize that he is the perfect role model for our modern STEAM emphasis. From his detailed sketches, to the chemical concoctions that resulted in the paint he used, his life's work is a blueprint for STEAM education. Although he is best known for his dramatic and expressive artwork, Leonardo also conducted dozens of carefully thought out experiments and created futuristic inventions in a time before modern science and invention had really begun. I have known of Da Vinci for over 40 years, yet sadly it has only been in the last three years that I have begun to fully appreciate the magnitude of his work and the potential his legacy to inspire today's students and educators. For all who seek to implement a STEAM curriculum, I propose that Da Vinci must serve as the beginning example we establish for our students to inspire and engage their learning.

    It is reported that Da Vinci carried a sketchbook or notebook with him everywhere he went. By the time of his death, he had filled over 500 notebooks with drawings, ideas, observations and discoveries. As I have read and reviewed pages from those notebooks I have discovered that he was an artist, engineer, architect, botanist, paleontologist, musician and more.

Girls in Science can be DaVincis too!

More than just a great artist...

Can You Identify These Amazing DaVinci Ideas That Developed Into Tools We Use Today?

    The creation of this presentation is an attempt to inspire and motivate teachers at my school and within my sphere of influence to expand their traditional views of teaching math and science as well as the arts and embrace the Maker Movement and STEM or STEAM focus to revolutionize their teaching and student learning. This connection was first made by people much smarter than me, and I am truly grateful. I am however, truly thankful to those pioneers for preparing the path that allows me to lead my students in making this amazing connection.
    I have included links below to some of the DaVinci Science All Stars that have influenced my thinking. It is not a complete list and is based solely on my limited research. Feel free to recommend additional All-Stars for our wall of fame!

My DaVinci  Exhibit

    Once upon a time as a new teacher, I considered math, science and technology to be tasks far above my realm of knowledge. However, I knew that I played a role in helping to lay the "foundation" for math, science and literacy development through early childhood education. I never really stopped to consider how profound and powerful that statement was until I moved from private school to the world of high-stakes testing and public education. I took for granted that all early childhood teachers (Infants to Grade 3) understood and applied the works of leaders like Montessori and the schools of Reggio Emilia. I have struggled with the reality of time constraints and the elimination of active hands-on learning from our curriculum . So when I discovered the Maker Movement and the STEM emphasis I was thrilled that the pendulum was again making that shift. So, as a Consturtivist- I'm beyond thrilled that playful learning, tinkering, project based learning and exploration are once again being encouraged. Let's keep this movement alive!