The STEM initiative has been made possible by a generous grant from the Bainbridge Schools Foundation (That's you!).
STEM is about fully engaging students in learning that is rich, relevant and challenging. After this, the message can get complicated. In my discussions with parents, teachers and administrators, STEM means different things to different schools and it will likely look different in the short, medium and long term.
In the short term, it's focused on helping teachers find the professional development and resources they need to make STEM happen in the classroom. Why teachers first? Sustainable efforts begin with plans that happen in the classroom. It's also about building Math, Science, Technology and Engineering culture in and outside of our schools.
In the Elementary schools, that may look like Family Math Night, or Science Activity Night, Math Club or 'The Math Question of the Month." The STEM Summer Camp comes from this approach, too.
In the Intermediate and Middle Schools, we have already begun to consider multi-year grant requests that support new teaching methods and resources.
In the High Schools, the same is true for considering different teaching methods, grants, partnerships and career opportunities.
In the coming years, and as the STEM Advisory Board narrows its focus on elements of STEM most needed in our district, the prospect for significant and sustainable reform becomes possible. Student internships, mentoring, counseling, and career learning are student focused opportunities, while the math and sicence program review (starting in 2013) will provide many opportunities for innovative and world class programs to blossom in our district.