Standard 3

STANDARD 3

STEM COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: School/program engages diverse STEM community in order to support and sustain STEM programs and initiatives.

INITIATIVES/ACTIONS: 
- SIC STEM initiatives
- Developing Community Partnerships



What Does It Look Like?

Since our initial certification, our school has increased the use of community resources to provide educational opportunities to all students. These partnerships give students access to topics such as conservation, ecology, authentic engineering opportunities, biology, and art.  One example of our community engagement is inviting local high school students as judges for our Invention Convention. Our annual science fair is judged by Regional Science Fair judges, which include local business owners and scientists.  We also have parents and community members who serve on our School Improvement Council (SIC).  Our SIC is responsible for prioritizing the funding for our STEM field trips per grade level and recruiting STEM-based community partners. 

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Another way we involve outside agencies to enhance learning experiences for students is by bringing in special instructional programs that tie into academic standards. For example, Fripp Island Audubon develops lessons and learning opportunities for all 4th grade students. In addition, our school coordinates with 4-H Clemson Extension and other outside agencies to develop student-centered projects.  Fifth grade students are involved in Seeds to Shoreline which is a program designed to replenish marsh grasses in the local environment. Another way our program is supported by the local community is through the Academy of Career Excellence (ACE) where boys from 4th-5th grades take a field trip to observe future careers in STEM fields.  Additionally, we plan a career fair each year to expose students to different STEM career paths. Students and teachers from the local high school and ACE present at the STEM Career Day.


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In addition, our school coordinates with 4-H Clemson Extension and other outside agencies to develop student-centered projects. Fifth grade students are involved in Seeds to Shoreline which is a program designed to replenish marsh grasses in the local environment.

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Another way our program is supported by the local community is through the Academy of Career Excellence (ACE) where boys from 4th-5th grade take a field trip to observe future careers in STEM fields. Additionally, we plan a career fair each year to expose students to different STEM career paths. Students and teachers from the local high school and ACE present at the STEM Career Day.

ACE  ACE

Strengths

A celebrated strength is how we have worked to improve and expand long term partnerships that support diverse and student-centered learning in the area of STEM. We conscientiously utilize various resources within our community to enhance student learning.  Although we consider this a strength, there are still opportunities for growth.  A concentrated effort was made to dedicate a professional development session focused on community programs, they service they offer and how to contact the agencies. 

Sustainability

One way that we are sustaining a strength is through the commitment of our School Improvement Council to recruit new STEM community partners and is currently active in their search.

Challenges

Like other schools with a high poverty population, we often cannot use parents as a resource for community involvement therefore we have to search out these community partners. 

Continuous Improvement

There is a high commitment of staff and other members of the school community that work very hard to recruit additional community support for the betterment of everyone. Our tireless and creative efforts to being parents into the school are resulting in better attendance at school events.