Sunday, September 4, 2016


The evolution of xSTREAM @ Ridgeview Middle School

As I considered the many articles that I read about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities and how they fit into the library, I wondered how best to incorporate this into the Ridgeview Middle School Library.  We had some activities; I asked guest speakers to come in; I hosted makerspace events.  However, nothing seemed to be exactly what we envisioned for our students.

Then, I began reading more and how A had been added to the acronym to include Art.  It went from STEM to STEAM.  Okay, that sounds interesting, we could definitely ask the art teachers to come in, and I could offer arts and crafts activities as part of makerspace.  Again, this was fun, and I had a blast with the students who came to those after school events.

But, something was missing.  I have a good friend who told me about how she incorporated reading into the mix and titled it STREAM.   At the TLA conference this spring, our keynote speaker, LeVar Burton, also mentioned this idea.  Now, we are talking.  No matter what else we do, I believe that libraries should always focus on reading.  

I left that session energized, and ready to put something in place.  But, we needed something--a brand if you will.  So, with collaborating with Mrs. Young, RMS ITS, we thought that xSTREAM had a certain ring to it.  And, we believe that x stands for extraordinary, exemplary, extra-special, etc.

We took the idea to Mr. Mutscher, and he embraced it as well.  We have already put the first xSTREAM campus wide night event on the calendar for April.  I. CANNOT. WAIT.

Throughout this school year, everyone will see this brand--xSTREAM.  Now, you know how it started.  We hope that you will be a part of the story of what it will be at Ridgeview Middle School.