Skip to main content

WSD’s Inaugural STEAM Fair inspires environmental action

June 14, 2024
Students checking the new lifeforms experience.

On June 11 and 12, 2024, the Winnipeg School Division hosted its first STEAM Fair. This exciting event brought together 620 Grades 4 to 6 students across 60 WSD elementary schools.  

This two-day event at Alloway Hall in the Manitoba Museum aimed to ignite a passion for learning and exploration in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math while considering how we can face the challenges to improve the environment.

"We chose the theme of the STEAM Fair "For the Environment…and Beyond" to encourage students to think beyond the classroom and consider their impact on the local and global environment. Through hands-on experiences at the STEAM Fair, students explored ways to protect our planet by taking one small action at a time," said Dorothy Goddard, Program Lead, STEAM and Science. 

"We also organized a poster design contest and would like to congratulate the three winners: Sam (Grade 6, Sargent Park School), PSalm (Grade 8, St. John's High School), and Mathea (Grade 6, Sargent Park School)!"

The posters were proudly displayed at the entrance and throughout the Alloway hall. 1P5A5793.jpg

The event started with a session of playing at different stations, such as Rig-a-Jigs, Talebot robots, Keva planks, Lego blocks, and more. Motivational speaker and author Michael Champagne then read his book, 'We Need Everyone,' and encouraged students to find out what they love and discover their passions, interests, and gifts. His book empowers children to use their gifts to overcome challenges, achieve goals, and strengthen communities. 1P5A5707.jpg

Students then visited five experience stations set up by WSD STEAM teachers and staff from Career Support and Library Support Services. Each session lasted 45 minutes and involved activities to experience, educate, and express what they learned.  

Gina Florendo, Grade 7/8 Math and Social Studies teacher at Meadows West School's experience station focused on carbon footprint and how to lower our impact.  

Ms. Florendo says, "Our learners reflected on their energy-saving habits that help lower their carbon footprint.39.9% of learners who completed the survey are doing a great job of bringing their own bags to shopping.28.2% say they would like to start buying less stuff! Students then created a stop-motion animated message encouraging others to take action! Shoutout to my partner, Mr. Geronimo, who designed pots and planted seeds that would grow and help clean the air."

It was great to see young learners celebrate what they are already doing and recognize a habit they would like to start or strengthen.

At the We Need Shelter station, students built shelters that fit into their environments. This station was inspired by the Bill Wise book If "Animals Built Your House"

“Using the materials provided, over 60 groups of students constructed shelters ranging from tents, beaver lodges, and polar bear dens to snake burrows, squirrel trees and woodpecker nests. Shout out to my partner Amanda Huang, who helped make this activity a success! We hope students and teachers continue to reflect on the themes presented at the STEAM fair once they return to their schools." said Tina Hellmuth, Divisional French Immersion STEAM teacher.  


"The arts-inspired environmental station brought awareness of four environmental issues in Manitoba (algal blooms, silica mining, zebra mussel invasion, and Greenhouse gas emissions). Students read about the environmental issue and were tasked with creating an antidote or proposing a solution through a dramatic piece that they presented," said Elena Mallin, Support teacher at Inner City Science Centre. 

Students' creative solutions raised awareness and showcased their artistic talents, proving that science and art can go hand in hand. 

"At the WINinnipeg experience station, students had the chance to delve into Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and the tools involved in creating them. As active members of the community and digital citizens, all students were encouraged to express their views and think critically about pertinent issues in our city," shared Lisa Bova, Manager of Library Support Services.  

This experience taught students how to communicate their environmental concerns and passions effectively to a broader audience.

Adam Charbonneau, STEAM Support Teacher, said, "Students at the New Lifeforms experience designed animals and plants for Titan, Europa, and Mars, considering adaptations for each environment. They used clay to create a model of their lifeform. To inform their designs, students took inspiration from Earth's diverse life and extremophiles thriving in harsh conditions." 

This was a creative and imaginative experience that also showcased the wonders of adaptation and biodiversity on Earth. 


Both days ended with Lisa Bova reading “To Change a Planet” by Christina Soontornvat, and the students also took home a copy of We Need Everyone. Teachers chose a book from one experience to take back to their school to share with other students. All books had a QR code with the experiences, books, and further extensions.


A huge shoutout to all teachers who accompanied the students and to the partners at the experience stations: Gina and Antonio Di Geronimo, Lisa and Gabrille Huggins, Elena and Lindsay Vieira, Adam and Murray Mandzuk, Tina and Amanda Huang! 

Overall, the STEAM Fair left a lasting impression on young minds, fostering a sense of responsibility and creativity.

Back to top