Standard 9


STEM EXTENSIONS: School/program provides within-school and extra-curricular opportunities for students to extend STEM learning. 

- Inclusion of special education students in STEM
- Providing STEM learning through Specials labs
- Planning for extra-curricular STEM activities
- Providing STEM field trips for all grade levels
- Creating STEM lessons for sharing

At Beaufort Elementary it is our goal to give every student the opportunity to be engaged in activities that extend STEM learning. To this end, we have scheduled three related arts classes that focus on STEM-based activities in the master schedule. These activities include engineering for grades three through five, Lego Lab for grades PreK to five, and Computer Science (coding) for grades Pre-K to five. Additionally, we also have a scheduled Media Arts class which incorporates many Makerspace activities. STEM activities are also provided for our self contained special education classes as they are able to participate.

Related Arts

Another way that STEM learning is supported at our school is through our STEM specific field trips. Each grade level has the opportunity to travel on a charter bus to a destination in South Carolina that enhances the STEM curriculum. These trips include Edventure, the SC Aquarium, Riverbanks Zoo, and the Maritime Center. The experiences that these trips provide are invaluable to our students who would not otherwise have such opportunities. We have also collaborated as a group to build a lesson bank of 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. The school has planned many special STEM events and funds are allocated in our budget to support those activities. Some examples of these events are STEM days, school-wide STEM challenges, and "You've Been Gifted" challenges (holiday-inspired STEM challenges provided as a gift for each classroom pre-K before the winter break). Additionally, we bring in community resources to enhance our STEM topics. Some examples of these include 4H Clemson Extension, Beaufort Conservation Education Outreach, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina Traveling ArtsReach Program, Fripp Audubon Society, Marine Corps Air Station, and SC Aquarium.

field trips

We also embrace the importance of extra-curricular opportunities for STEM. Some of our extracurricular opportunities are provided through after school programs such as STEM Gardening Club, Storybook Engineering, The "A" in STEAM is ART and an Engineering Club. Another extracurricular activity that we have implemented is our Family STEM night. We just celebrated our fourth Family STEM night where families compete in Engineering Instant Challenges for STEM prizes.
An area in which we look to improve upon would be to become more inclusive and accommodating for after school enrichment opportunities for those students who lack transportation.