Standard 9

STANDARD 9 

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

INITIATIVES/ACTIONS: 
- 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




What Does It Look Like?

It is our goal at Beaufort Elementary 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 PreK to five. Additionally, we provide Makerspace activities in our Media Center.  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 also collaborate 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 monthly challenges. 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 embrace the importance of extra-curricular opportunities for STEM.  Some of our extra -curricular 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.  Last year, we just celebrated our fourth Family STEM Night where families compete in Engineering Instant Challenges for STEM prizes. 

Strengths

Our strength is that we provide a plethora of opportunities both during and after the school day for students to engage in STEM activities. These programs are available for all students to participate. We also include families during our STEM nights to encourage them to provide for STEM experiences in their homes.

Sustainability

The leadership team seeks teachers to provide afterschool enrichment in STEM.  Funds are provided to pay salaries for teachers and buy supplies for these opportunities. Money is provided in the budget for materials so that all families can participate in STEM night challenges and continue the learning with a take home material.   

Challenges

One challenge is that some students are unable to participate in our after-school programs because they lack transportation. Another concern is that attendance at Family STEM night is limited due to alternate or extended work hours.

Continuous Improvement

BES continues to provide funding and opportunities for students both during and after school.  A goal would be to somehow find a way to provide transportation for some of these students.