STREAM Fest Makes Learning Fun

Oct 07, 2019

Cal U students and kids from The Village and the Rutledge Institute preschool have a fun time learning science, reading, engineering, arts and math.

  • - Elijah Gilbert asks, 'Will this coconut sink or float in water?'

  • - Ricky Marucci helps Sophia make art with soap bubbles and food coloring.

Cal U students and preschool children continue to prosper from STREAM Fest, a variety of science, reading, engineering, arts and math activities for children that has become a yearly event. 

The fun morning in Keystone Hall was conducted by Cal U’s pre-kindergarten education majors, who planned and taught the STREAM lessons. 

Nearly 40 children came from the Rutledge Institute for Early Childhood Education, which supports an innovative preschool learning program on Cal U’s campus, and The Village, an accredited early childhood education center in downtown California. 

Drs. Clover Wright and Diane Fine, assistant professors in the Department of Childhood Education, oversee the teachers-in-training. 

The event complements the field work many of the Cal U students are doing for the first time this semester at local school districts. All components of STREAM are used in each activity. 

“This gives them the experience of being able to teach in front of their peers, with their peers and in front of their professors,” Wright said. “They are exhausted and elated at the end, but most of them look at this as their favorite part of the semester.” 

Excitement and anticipation were evident as sophomore DeAisa Wade and junior Madison Grey prepared clay for a fossil-making activity they planned. 

Wade is beginning her field work next week at Hilltop Community Children’s Center in Pittsburgh. 

“This gives them a hands-on project that we can observe and help with, where they will learn about fossils while having fun at the same time,” she said. 

“What’s really nice is that we get to put together lesson plans and actually teach them and carry out the activities as opposed to doing the lesson plan for class and on other college students,” said Grey, who is doing her field work at Ringgold Elementary. 

Partnerships between Cal U, the Rutledge preschool and The Village are ongoing. Three days before STREAM Fest, the preschool children participated in the Cal U Liberal Arts Fair. 

Later this month, Cal U’s Center for Volunteer Programs and Service Learning is sending students to both locations to decorate for Halloween as a Jennie Carter Day of Service project.  

“We are making full use of the resources on campus,” said Ashley Roth, assistant director of the Rutledge Institute, director of The Village, and an early childhood education instructor at Cal U. “What’s so nice is that not only do we go to the University, but they come to us, which just adds to our relationship.”