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STEM pattern

STEM pattern

Carusi Middle School

Carusi Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows

School Location: 
Cherry Hill, NJ

Bob Bonnet
Deb Jacobs
Kim Wolozen
Tom Kelly 

School Website:
School Team of the Month - May 2018
What is the focus of your STEM Impact Plan work this year?
This year our plan focuses on creating a common understanding of equitable, high quality STEM education for our staff so that they can integrate it into their teaching practices and provide greater access to richer STEM learning opportunities.
What exciting STEM experiences have happened at your school so far this year?
We planned a STEM Family Night for May 17. The theme was Western, and we called it the Carusi STEM Stampede because our mascot is a mustang. One of our goals is to promote an understanding and awareness of STEM-related careers by connecting with our community. We have received a lot of community support in this collaborative effort to engage in STEM-related activities. Representatives from our local police and fire departments, public library, one of our high school’s award winning robotics teams, a local STEM Scouts organization, Camden County Tech School, our PTA, and more were in attendance. We have also focused on helping participants learn more about STEM-related careers. We hope this will help us achieve our other goal which is to gain a better understanding of equitable STEM education.
A number of teachers who have expressed interest this year in further integrating STEM learning opportunities into their practices have taken action. Four math and science teachers are offering STEM challenges and activities before school as a supplemental learning activity to interested students. Additionally, one of our sixth-grade humanities teachers started a project with her students in connection to their study of Egyptian civilizations. Students worked in teams to create board games that focused on content knowledge learned in the unit. After hearing what she was doing, we recommended that it could be exciting for the students if they learned how to incorporate a light in their game by learning about paper circuits. They loved it! Many groups redesigned or made modifications to their game in order to incorporate the paper circuit that we learned about in January’s RISE Summit.
In what ways have you been able to engage members of your school, local community, or other STEM Teaching Fellows?
As we mentioned, one of our main objectives is to promote awareness, interest, and greater access to high quality STEM learning opportunities. We are excited to have garnered the support of so many interested and supportive members of our community this year. Our STEM team teaches in a relatively large middle school with approximately 100 teachers who educate 1,000 students. Our school's administration, faculty and parent/teacher association have all been very supportive and in most instances enthusiastic partners as we strive to promote equitable access to high quality STEM learning opportunities to as many people as possible. We immersed our faculty of over 100 teachers and administrators in a collaborative, hands-on STEM learning activity. We have received much feedback from all of our stakeholders through online surveys we have provided at in-services, parent evenings like Back-To-School night, and class surveys. This data helps inform us as we work to better understand current and changing perspectives about STEM and identify how we can foster greater STEM partnerships.
We have supported and witnessed many cross curricular STEM learning initiatives that were new this year, including a humanities and science collaboration involving the growing of ancient crops and grains. A number of supplemental STEM learning opportunities and challenges have been offered by four math and science teachers before school in the sixth grade this spring. We have built a STEM spotlight board that highlights all of the interesting STEM-related learning opportunities that are occurring throughout the school.

We also have had the great fortune to be the home of another Trustey STEM Fellows team, and we have been able to meet and collaborate with them in support of our STEM night and a STEM night they are hosting at their elementary school (which sends its graduates to our school). Members of both teams will attend each other's STEM nights to lend their support.