Principals Take the Lead in STEAM

Innovation pioneers.

July 27, 2017

At the National Principals Conference (NPC), it’s about the principle of the matter. For this year’s first ever joint conference (both secondary and elementary principals attended), littleBits met with a few inspiring leaders in the education space.

In this day and age, principals are tasked with the challenge of keeping their administrations current in an ever-changing world. With the rising need for 21st-century skills, how does a principal push the educators and students they lead, but also support them wholeheartedly?

At the first ever-joint National Principals Conference, we got to meet with many standout community leaders and hear more about their ideas and plans (as well as challenged them to a few rounds of Tug-of-War!) Here are a few things we learned from some principals who are taking the lead in STEAM:

1. Tools are only as powerful as their users

Many principals lamented purchasing the latest in edtech, only to have it sit on a shelf because their educators didn’t feel comfortable using it in classrooms. Not every school or district has access to professional development, so it’s important that the product be easy-to-use for novices and also effective. Principals often champion new STEAM initiatives while organizing efforts to train their own teachers to implement it.

2. Competition is good

One principal from Mississippi told us point blank, “We’re one of the top performers in our state, so we’re very blessed in that sense. But I like to come to events and meet other successful schools so that we can be even better.” Networking and attending workshops for professional development is great. But the motivation that comes from others’ successes is just the type of fire needed to energize a community of educators and students. Whether they were inspired to incorporate project-based learning into an English class, or challenged to think outside the box to reach outlier students, NPC’17 was the place to get new innovative ideas on building STEAM.

3. It’s about meeting students where they are

A principal told us about a non-traditional approach they took for some students of their own. “They were disruptive, obviously bored…I discovered they were really into motorbikes — so I invited them to a bike shop after school where they got a chance to take apart some engines.” Principals and teachers are often faced with a few students who don’t respond to traditional methods of learning. That’s why educators must meet students where they are with creative solutions and tools, to ensure they reach the back of the classroom as well as the front.

Preparing students for the future and careers that don’t exist yet has never been more important to these champion educators taking the lead in STEAM. Make sure to check out our STEAM Student Set or the new Code Kit — with powerful curriculum and supplies all in one box.

We can’t wait to see what your students create!


Grace Morales
Education Marketing Coordinator

P.S: Check out our NPC17 interview with kid reporter Taytum from nibbletz.com on our new Code Kit!