Subscribe to our Newsletter   |       |    Contact Us

STEM pattern

STEM pattern

Gridley Middle School

Gridley 2 Web

School Location: 
Tucson, Arizona

April Knippen
Constance Einsenman
Lisa Kist
Peggy Herron
Peggy Wilmore

School Website:

School Team of the Month - February 2016

What the most ambitious element of your STEM Impact Plan work so far?

The most ambitious piece of our STEM Impact Plan is developing the STEM Resources for Teachers to begin the STEM Study group. The goal of this group is to provide STEM planning opportunities for interested staff members in order to increase STEM integration at Gridley.

We are also very excited that our science club participation has grown from 8 students last year to 21 students this year. In addition, 40% of the members are now young women and the ratio of cultural diversity within the club matches that of the school! Club participation includes an active role in STEM events as well as the exploration of STEM activities. These activities include hydroponic gardening, working in the chicken coop and orchard areas, developing school site improvements, and smaller more individualized student interest projects.

What exciting STEM experiences are happening at Frontier Middle School?

gridley 1This past semester, we hosted our first ever Grocery Night. We partnered with our local Fry’s (Kroger) Store to have families bring in a family-favorite recipe one evening and determine the cost per serving of that recipe. One family actually used their shopping to plan for a weekend party! Conversations between parents and children about why they bought certain brands, how much one-quarter of an egg costs, etc. were being heard all over the store.
Fry’s also volunteered to do an assembly for all of our students and gave behind the scenes tours on Grocery Night. They and their vendors provided free hot dogs, sodas and chips to our families. At the end of the evening, they told us of all the different ways science, technology, engineering, and math are used in their business that they weren’t even aware of. They are already excited about next year’s Grocery Night! 

In what ways have you been able to engage other members of your school, local community, or other STEM Teaching Fellows?

gridley 2We have asked other staff/ teachers to participate with the activity planning and running of activities at STEM Nights. We have surveyed the teaching staff to identify people that are interested in STEM and would be willing to participate in the STEM Study Group. At the administrative level, the District’s Science director, PR department, and school board have all already participated in one way or another in all of our STEM Night activities.

We have been very lucky to have an amazing response to our request for help and participation from our local community members. As mentioned above, our local Fry’s store continues to be very supportive of our Gridley community. Other members of local industry such as the University of Arizona (Math Teachers Retention group, Physics Department, Optical Sciences Group), the Tanque Verde 4H Poultry division, our Pima County JTED Culinary program, Garmin industries, the Desert Dolphin Dive Club, and Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society have donated their time to participate in STEM Nights and speak about their jobs/ interests in STEM fields. 

Parents have been the backbone of student participation and continue to encourage students to learn about STEM and help students attend STEM events even when they are held off campus. We have even had several parents give up a Saturday to come and help students put up a fence designed to protect the orchard area!

Join the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows