Ms. Charlene Ellingson, STEAM
Char Ellingson
STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics)

Who I am. Hi! My name is Char Ellingson, and I am the STEAM teacher (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). I am so excited to be here at Jenny Lind and really excited to be teaching an interdisciplinary elective. This is my first year at Jenny Lind. Before coming to Jenny Lind I taught 9th grade at Patrick Henry High School, and most recently I have been working as a STEM specialist for Minneapolis at the district level writing STEM curriculum, and doing STEM professional development for teachers. 

In my free time I like to spend time at my cabin, take my two dogs Sigrun and Brynhilder) for a walks, and cook. I am also a student again. in 2012 I left the classroom to work on my Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, in STEM Education, which I will finish this school year.

What you can expect. In this course, you will be working in collaborative teams to improve your thinking and learning in multiple subjects -- science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. The goal of the class is for you to develop your STEAM literacy through making prototypes that are possible solutions to real world problems and communicating them to others. For example, redesigning a toy to make it better or making furniture that can hold a person using only cardboard. The goal is for you to become more adept at personal and academic expression through making prototypes to solve problems (engineering), then writing (and speaking) about them. 

Because it is a foundational skill to communicate in writing, you can expect to have a lot of opportunities to write about the prototypes you design. Writing is not something we are born understanding how to do, it is developed over time through writing, sharing our writing, and revising our writing, This does not mean all of our writing will be long essays. You can expect many short, creative, and fun writing tasks that tap into your creativity. For example, I may ask you to think back to a time you made something, building it from things you found around the house, and to spend five minutes writing about it. Other things you can expect about writing is to learn to give and receive feedback to revise and improve your writing, to use Thinking Maps to help you organize your thinking (more about this later), and to use Science and Engineering Notebooks to keep your work organized and available.
Finally, you can expect to have fun learning new things, learning to work in teams, and to use your creativity and imagination. 

How to reach me. You can reach me through e-mail at or by cell phone at 612-408-7241.