Science in the Middle

doing 6th grade science – outside the box!

STEM schools

on May 16, 2014

Yesterday’s session listening to the success of The Akron Hub who has gone completely STEM though out the district was great. They are part of the Ohio Stem Learning Network.  Their big focus item was on partnerships with corporations and establishing workforce ready graduates.  The companies wanted to give their input into what THEY need in future workers and – surprise – it didn’t always match up with what the schoolhouse thought were skills needed to be employed. Of course, each industry is going to have their requirements of workforce ready specific to their industry, But that actually is a win-win because high schoolers sometimes get internships or externships with these partners!  What is terrific for any school or district that wants to go this route is they have a step by step, year by year outline of what needs to be done and what the school should look like.

In speaking with some of the presenters afterwards, my thinking about some of our math and science clubs was kind of confirmed…Competitions like Science Olympiad are very 20th century and do not build the skills needed for a competent, tech savvy, globally literate workforce.  They take a lot of time from teachers, and for a curriculum like this, brand new, to begin, will require all kinds of energy and committment.

Even if we do not adopt this model, they also have fabulous resources for teachers like me!

On the exhibit floor, I was talking with an Atlanta (Fulton) teacher in the HHMI booth, and it turns out he lives in the Austin School District in DeKalb, and his child did NOT get pulled in the Kittredge lottery.

I had a nice evening starting out with my Kittredge colleagues, and then joined a fellow Honeywell Educator from Belvedere school district in Illinois, her principal, and a curriculum developer for dinner in the French Quarter. Good discussions – they have a K-8 school that has been 3 years 100% STEM and it has turned around a failing urban school.

Sadly, there is not time for beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde – I’m off to a session at the Expo!  Thank you, PTA, for sending me here!




2 responses to “STEM schools

  1. mindtransit says:

    Did they make a presentation available after the session? I’d be interested in seeing it, if possible.

    • Susan says:

      They probably will upload it to the NSTA Website, where many of the STEM Expo presenters’ materials are located, if it’s not there already.

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