Ms. Turner adds fresh S.T.E.A.M to 6-7 Curriculum

A new teacher and new class


Photo by Elizabeth Hiller ’25

Elizabeth Hiller '25

Academy has a new class in 6-7!  Taught by new faculty member Tia Turner, S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) is a class unlike Academy has ever had in the 7th grade. S.T.E.A.M. is very hands on.  Unlike traditional classes, in S.T.E.A.M. students  focus on a wide variety of topics such as 3D printing, robotics, computer design, and many other skills.  Art and imagination are a huge part of the class. Whether designing a 3D print or coming up with a funny voice for a robot, students are constantly being creative.

This class is not only different; it also applies to many real-world situations. “For instance, if you think about Pixar, there’s a lot of technology and art that go together to make those types of creations,” Ms. Turner said.  Students are exposed to many different learning techniques, which helps them understand how they best learn. These skills can be applied to other classes such as English and History, as well as subjects like music and sports. Another important part of S.T.E.A.M. is having a good understanding of computers and technology in general. As our world continues to move in a digital direction, many jobs associated with technology are beginning to appear. A good foundation in this area will hopefully allow for many job opportunities.

Independent and group work are a huge part of this class, and both are equally important.  “Independent work is good for your own mind, and having time to think a problem through, but having a partner to problem solve with, and to help figure out the answers when you get stuck is also good,” Ms. Turner said. One of the many ways that collaboration is beneficial is when one day you have a job and need assistance, you always know that you can ask other people as well as your boss.  This class helps students to understand the values of asking questions and learning to ask others for help.

Ms. Tia Turner is a parent of Albuquerque Academy alumni, but this is her first year as an Academy teacher.  Before she came to the Academy, Ms. Turner worked in the Albuquerque Publics Schools as the Educational Technology Specialist. She was originally a first-grade teacher, but eventually she began working with the entire school community to educate them on different aspects of technology. Over the last four years, Ms. Turner has helped many different schools in the district create S.T.E.A.M. classes as a part of their curriculum.

One of the main reasons that Ms. Turner is interested in teaching this class is to help students understand the values of technology and to open a new set of potential interests for their futures. She is very happy to be able to share her knowledge with this 7th grade class and hopefully many others. This class may be different from others, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be one of the best.