Together, Brown and Vartan Gregorian Elementary Design and Create a Convenient “Steam Room” for Kids
PROVIDENCE, RI [Brown University] – Science and technology education is about to become even more engaging than the exciting courses already in place at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School in Providence.
Teachers and administrators at the school, located a few blocks from Brown University in the Fox Point neighborhood, are working with the University to transform an empty classroom into a convenient interactive space where students from the Kindergarten through fifth grade can explore science, technology, engineering, arts, and math – or STEAM for short.
Throughout the 2021-22 school year, the two schools are working together to outfit the space with new furniture and supplies, with the goal of transforming a traditional third-grade classroom into a vibrant lab-like space with endless possibilities. At the end of spring, with funding from Brown allowing the implementation of the project, students and teachers at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School will be able to conduct interactive experiments, work together on creative projects, and fill walls and windows with completed art and science projects.
Brown President Christina H. Paxson said the collaboration was inspired in part by the elementary school’s namesake Vartan Gregorian, who served as Brown’s president from 1989 to 1997 and died in 2020. During nearly a decade before Fox Point Elementary School was renamed in his honor, Gregorian had considered it his “adopted” school, partnering with educators and local leaders to expand its resources and physical footprint, connect students to tutoring and mentoring, and organize school-wide enrichment activities.
âVartan Gregorian believed that higher education institutions have an obligation to meet urgent social needs across the country and the world, including the need to provide quality education for every child,â Paxson said. âHis legacy lives on in Brown’s deep connection to this elementary school, and the University continues to build on the foundation he first laid 30 years ago, both at the school. Elementary Vartan Gregorian and across town to other public schools. We are excited to help turn the vision for a new STEAM lab into a reality.