Welcome Letter from Mr. Hensley
Greetings Richmond Community!
My name is Steven Hensley and I am thrilled to be the Director of STEAM and the Imagination Lab here at Richmond Community Schools! For the past five years, I have been involved in Science education, curriculum development, facilitation of professional learning communities, and designing learning experiences in the middle school world, and I am beyond excited to join the red devil team as the head of the Richmond Steam Academy and Imagination Lab!
A question I am frequently asked is: What is STEAM and how is it different from what is currently offered in schools? In STEAM education, students engage in hands-on, project-based learning experiences that allow them to collaborate and communicate, experiment and create, all while learning how to use new tools and technologies to design and build solutions to real-world problems: The learning experiences are designed with intentionality to allow students the opportunity to make mistakes, learn processes with content, and iterate through global issues while making local level connections. Additionally, we intend to connect with the thriving arts community here in Richmond, IN. We are incredibly fortunate to have so many partners and resources locally available and willing to work with us on arts integration projects. As the Director, I look forward to growing that partnership for generations to come.
Another question I am often asked is why are we putting such emphasis and resources into STEAM - a fair question that deserves a robust response. According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (Indiana DWD, 2021), the number of jobs in the computer and mathematical sector in Indiana is expected to grow to nearly 69,000 by 2028, an increase of approximately 7,000 from its 2018 base of 61,344 jobs. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (2021), employment in mathematics occupations is projected to grow 27% from 2019 to 2029. Employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow by 11% in the same period. Our commitment to providing students with the highest quality of education is predicated on not only preparing students for the world in which they live now, but also the world in which they will live: An education for the future.
As the Director of the STEAM Academy, I look forward to connecting with our families, community members, and stakeholders. We have an immense responsibility to our students and they truly deserve our best. The world is an ever-changing place - Our approach to education must be equally adaptable. Our kids deserve it.
Director of STEAM & Imagination Lab
Richmond Community Schools[email protected]