School Team of the Month - Summer 2016
What is the most ambitious element of your STEM Impact Plan work so far?
We view the most ambitious piece of our STEM Impact Plan to be a shift in the cultural identity of our school community from a historically athletic-focused school to a school enriched in real-world problem solving incorporating the four STEM disciplines. We felt that this was necessary to encourage our students to pursue the hard sciences at academic levels in order to pursue STEM careers.
What exciting STEM experiences are happening in your schools?
Enhanced, intentionally structured and thematically engaging monthly STEM days have been the highlights of our school year. The teachers at our school have a greater appreciation and understanding of providing students opportunities to investigate phenomena and engage in the practices of science that include posing questions, building explanations, and communicating ideas based on evidence.
In what ways have you been able to engage other members of your school, local community, or other STEM Teaching Fellows?
As STEM team leaders, our goal is to increase each teacher's capacity and comfort level in implementation of STEM lessons. We help provide teachers with lessons and resources that students will find engaging and that align with state standards. Also included with our STEM days, we have invited guest speakers from the local community to broaden our students' awareness of STEM careers. Additionally we had the director for IMAGINE: students for local and global action, record a STEM lesson on water equity that our 7th grade students taught to our 2nd grade to share with community leaders.
Finally, our local catholic high school hosted its 2nd annual STEM Day Competition. In addition to coaching four teams of students that competed, our teachers provided guidance and support to the structure of the competition, which included a team building challenge.