Eliana Hyatt and her father, Seth Hyatt, explore the different projects on display together.
Last month, Akiva students and faculty hosted parents and friends for an exhibition of STEAM projects and explorations. Curiosity! A Night of Innovative Exploration is a chance for Akiva students to share their curiosity and wonder with the greater Akiva Community. Each grade picked a topic of interest and utilized the engineering design process to explore and innovate. This year Curiosity! showcased projects including Water Scarcity and Purification, Changing the World, The Kindness Project, Rebuilding the Titanic, Perfecting Play Dough, Personal Rights vs. Societal Needs, and more.
At Akiva, STEAM education begins in Kindergarten where students are encouraged to explore, discover, and think critically about the world around them. Head of School, Rabba Daniella Pressner points out that, “Today’s world demands a wide range of knowledge and skills. At Akiva, our students are tasked with finding questions that reflect real-world problems and using the Engineering Design process to begin to address their questions and proposed solutions. Combined with a focus on empathy and community, our children cultivate the fundamental skills needed to keep pace with our rapidly changing world.”
Akiva parent Stephanie Kirschner, mom to first grader Samantha Kirschner, attended Curiosity! together with her family. Kirschner was inspired by the program, commenting that, “It was so wonderful to visit the classrooms and see the excitement, curiosity, and passion of the students.” Kirschner noted that, “The students were all so proud of their projects and it really shines throughout the entire Akiva community. It was a very special experience.”
In 2019 Akiva became the first Jewish Day School across the globe, and the first elementary school in Nashville, to be accredited as a STEAM school. As a STEAM certified school, Akiva consistently works to integrate STEAM learning into all educational experiences, and to strengthen students’ foundation for engineering and artistic discovery. The annual Curiosity! is a celebration of this mission, and of the Akiva community.
Levi Barton and Luke Lewis read a First Grade project about What Makes Things Float.