Ms. Litterio's S.T.E.A.M. Lab at
First Avenue School
Welcome! My name is Ms. Victoria Litterio and I am the STEAM Lead for First Avenue School in Newark, NJ. I have been a teacher for 11 years and have an extensive background in science. My love of science started many years ago as a high school student in biology. From there on I worked towards my Bachelor of Science in Community Health/Biology. My science training was refined by an amazing program out of Princeton, NJ called E=MC2. At that time, it was the beginning of the movement where science teachers stepped out of the old "skill and drill" format into a facilitator or "guide on the side". From there, I (and many of my fellow science teachers) evolved our teaching style to match the current NGSS changes.
I also have experience in the design of multiple K-8 science curricula. This has made me the prime candidate for heading the STEAM program at FAS.
While in my classroom, my students are tasked with resolving real-world challenges that force them to use skills that they have learned in science, math, engineering, art and mathematics. Tasks require students to think critically, problem-solve, collaborate and use the design process to complete their challenge with the ultimate goal of "process over product". This is the foundation of the Growth Mindset. Many times during a challenge, my students will feel failure. This is not a negative idea in my class, but rather a stepping stone to ultimately approach the problem from another perspective with the overarching objective to increase the grit of all my students.
Interested in Growth Mindset? Read more here https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/
In June, FAS was one of the recipients of the Victoria Foundation Grant! It has truly helped to lift our program off the ground and give our students the beginning of an amazing set of experiences and resources. One of the major components of our grant was to allow our students a series of experiential learning modalities which will include: NJIT Architectural Drawing with Matt Gosser, Young Audiences of NJ artist Ben Praeger, Urban Design Mural of the Downtown Trails with artist Anker West, Mosaic Intensive with Glassroots, Sharron's Miller Academy of Performing Arts with Conny Andres, Bricks 4 Kidz, FourYouthProductions, Trips to the Greater Newark Conservancy (and our first Worm Bin), and both myself and our own Mr. Colon will assist students in making 2 (yes 2) aquaponic gardens at our school.
This year is going to be a great one in the STEAM Lab at FAS! I truly look forward to challenging the students at FAS and allowing them to hone in on their 21st Century Skills as well as keeping the FAS core beliefs of respect, resiliency, responsibility and reflection in the forefront of everything we do.
Let's do this!
-Ms. V. Litterio
For more information on some of the additional work I am involved in, please visit the Early Childhood Learning Priority Group below (as well as the amazing work being done in the STEAM Community)
This Month's STEAM Challenge for you to try at home: Build the tallest gumdrop structure you can!