Standard 14


STEM SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES: Students develop STEM skills and cross-cutting competencies that support workforce readiness.

- Planning and creating opportunities for students to interact with people working in various STEM careers
- Providing abundant opportunities for students to learn the skills necessary to be successful and productive members of society

In our school, students develop STEM skills and cross-cutting competencies that support workforce readiness. While engaging in our numerous STEM opportunities, teachers first reference the World Class Skills of creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and teamwork, communication, information, media, and technology, and knowing how to learn. We are developing workforce readiness through Career Characteristics (Integrity, Self-direction, Global Perspective, Perseverance, Work Ethic, Interpersonal Skills) as noted in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. It is a goal of our school to have students communicate appropriately, make eye contact, and demonstrate respect. Developing these skills allows the students to share their knowledge with confidence. They also provide the students with the necessary behaviors important not only for success in school but also for success in the workforce.

Graduate Profile  STEM Profile

With our purposeful implementation of the Engineering Design Process and our Essential 5 schoolwide behavior initiative, students are able to showcase their proficiency in South Carolina’s World Class Skills. By consistently solving problems like building knee braces for injured knees, making shoes for children in Africa to wear as they collect water, and constructing Tar-pul bridges to make it safely across dangerous ravines, the students have had the engineering process ingrained in them. It is evident that students are utilizing their creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving when engaged in these activities. In addition, when these projects are team-based, students are collaborating, recording, and presenting outcomes, which provides an opportunity to communicate information. Various forms of technology are woven through the STEM process such as computer-assisted research, ways of recording data, and 3-D printing. Students have used 3-D printers for various projects such as adding something to the birdhouses they designed and a piece to make their westward expansion vehicle more successful. This year we purchased a class set of 3-D pens that the teachers are beginning to incorporate into their lessons. Our first experience with the pens was creating ornaments that showed a significant event in history to hang on a Historical Tree. Now that the faculty has been trained in the use of the 3-D pens, there is already talk of using them to create artifacts from certain periods in history. We continue to build upon these world-class skills through computer science class, Lego Lab, Media Arts and classrooms where we continue with the same common language and processes to make STEM education more cohesive.

Click here for a larger view of SOAR at BES

Essential 5    SOAR

Students also participate in our yearly STEM Career Fair, where members of the community in STEM-related fields provide invaluable insight into their chosen career path and how it relates to various STEM concepts. Students are able to engage in a multitude of career choices, ranging from welding to aviation to conservation. We look to build upon the aforementioned careers by weaving them into our school-wide STEM curriculum.

Career Day

An opportunity for improvement in creating workforce readiness would be to encourage teachers to embrace the concept of providing STEM opportunities solely for the purpose of developing cross-cutting competencies.