So, what is McKinley STEAM?  

Welcome to McKinley Elementary STEAM School! We are very proud of the collaborative culture that exists among our staff and parents, as well as the strong focus on learning and leadership that we maintain.  Our students look forward to school each day and demonstrate a love of learning that is inspirational to all of us.

Our staff and students are the heart of the McKinley STEAM community.  Our school serves the northeastern neighborhoods of Owatonna, as well as the entire community through our district STEAM programming.  We are a K-5 school with around 600 students.  We value the diversity and uniqueness of our school and its’ stakeholders.     

Students at McKinley STEAM have a choice for the first time to learn through STEM; a philosophy embedded in literacy and focused on science, technology, engineering and math. This opportunity allows students to approach learning from integrating content while emphasizing problem solving and collaboration. Students spend time observing and wondering about how the natural world and human society interact. In this context, engineering is how we design and build solutions to problems and improve the world we all live in.
At McKinley, STEAM is integrated into everything we do.  Our students still learn district curriculum and learning outcomes; however, our approach to instruction is what differentiates us.  When you enter any classroom in our building, you will notice many of the same characteristics:
  • Collaboration- our students collaborate with each other and the outside world.  At McKinley STEAM, we teach students the skills to work together.
  • Integration- our curriculum is integrated with literacy serving as the foundation of all learning.  We believe that true learning occurs when students are immersed in a topic or concept, rather than taught in isolated subjects.   
  • Student Ownership & Inquiry- our teachers serve as the facilitator, giving students the power to own their learning.  Our students are continually wondering and asking questions to solidify their understanding.   
  • Real-Life Learning- our learning is connected with the outside world.  Through simulations, partnerships, and problems, our students experience real-life learning on a daily basis.    
 Again, welcome to McKinley STEAM!  We are excited to have you join our McKinley Community!  
 -Justin Kiel, Principal

Click here to access our "McKinley Welcome Letter"  
Click here to access our McKinley Video

Below are some links regarding STEAM:                                                                       

What is STEAM?
-Higher-level thinking & questioning
-True integration across all content areas
-Growth Mindset (our abilities can grow with experiences)
-Real World Application
-Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts Integration, & Math

What kind of student benefits from the STEAM philosophy?
STEM is for all students.  Hands-on, inquiry-based learning is best practice for any style of learner, regardless of background or abilities. 

What do we believe about STEAM?
At McKinley Elementary STEAM School, we believe:
  • Growth Mindset:  We believe a person's basic abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication.  We honor and value mistakes, risk-taking, and thinking outside the box.  We believe people are constantly developing.
  • Questioning:  We believe questioning is a true asset to the learning process.  Questioning allows people to go deeper, think critically, and truly understand the world around them.
  • Real World Integration:  We believe learning happens collaboratively through real-world connections and is integrated across all subject areas.  
Do teachers still teaching reading?
Reading is the foundation of all we do at McKinley.  STEAM isn't a single class, but how we integrate subjects all day.  Literacy is the foundation of all work we do - in each and every learning experience.   

Who do I contact for more information?
Contact Justin Kiel, McKinley Principal, for more information.  He can be reached at 507-444-8200 or  


STEAM isn't what we teach... it's HOW we teach! 

Contact: Justin Kiel