Standard 12


STEM CURRICULUM ORGANIZATION: School/program provides high-quality STEM courses and curriculum aligned to recognized standards and organized into interdisciplinary frameworks. 

- Planning for STEM learning across the curriculum
- Initiating the One School, One Book initiative as a shared STEM learning experience for all students across grade levels
- Planning and collaborating with a local artist to create writing and artwork relating to our local ecosystem

The school has embedded STEM courses into their master schedule in the form of engineering, Lego Lab, and Computer Science (coding) in addition to Makerspace activities so that every student has an opportunity to benefit from a high-quality course. These courses incorporate a variety of interdisciplinary activities that address curriculum standards for each grade level. When you walk into the Lego Lab, you often see students completing a build that has been purposefully tied to a science, writing, or math standard. Also, a large amount of time has been given to developing the STEM mindset in classroom teachers regardless of their subject area. The school has grown from a few teachers incorporating STEM activities to everyone participating. The biggest change we have seen is social studies and reading teachers who have embraced the inclusion of STEM practices and processes in their content areas. Students are able to develop a better understanding of the history topics by participating in STEM builds and simulations. One example is the trench warfare simulation where the students must design weapons "paper balls" that will reach the opposing sides 'trenches.

lego green screen

Another way that STEM learning is supported at our school is that we have collaborated as a group to build an interdisciplinary framework for our STEM activities including assessments that connect to all curriculum areas. This allows teachers access to ideas that can be implemented in their classrooms. All grade levels can see what lessons have been added which helps with vertical articulation. We are trying to grow the school as a whole through using common language and common templates for our STEM units and projects.

lesson bank

One new strategy that we have included in the One School, One Book project. This is a school-wide reading of a literary text with which we are incorporating STEM with other disciplines. Based on this story, students participated in engineering challenges, answering text-dependent questions, and writing about what they learned. The success that we experienced with this project this year already has us looking into the future for a new book for next year and even more ways of incorporating STEM across the curriculum.

One Book

One Book Writing

River of Words

One weakness we look to strengthen would be offering more assistance to new teachers as they begin to implement STEM-based practices across the curriculum.