All students at Pritchardville are exposed to a STEM curriculum. All classes Students K-5 attend Engineering in a six day rotation. Each classroom also completes STEM projects across disciplines to help support their curriculum. Every student is involved in the Engineering Expo in the fall and is invited to attend and participate in the STEAM Night Event in the spring.
All projects across the curriculum are designed and implemented incorporating the state standards. Projects are multidisciplinary and interactive. Most STEM learning in the classroom is culminated by creating a product. These products and their processes are then assessed using performance-based rubrics by teachers and the students themselves.
While working on STEM learning activities students have multiple opportunities to work in collaborative groups and also independently. Rubrics that assess collaboration are used when working with groups. Students are also encouraged to come up with creative solutions to challenges and self-direct their learning. Creative thinking rubrics are used to assess student’s abilities to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to challenges. Students are able to present their STEM learning to peers, teachers, parents, and community members at a school wide engineering expo in the fall and a STEAM event in the spring. Students also are able to share projects with peers through the morning news show, hallway displays, and cross grade level collaborations.
Technology is authentically integrated throughout STEM learning experiences. Students use laptops and iPads to research, communicate, and collaborate for projects. Many activities result in a product developed using varying apps and programs.
Educators meet on a regular basis to plan STEM related learning experiences across the curriculum. A school wide document has been created in which each grade level creates interdisciplinary projects. These projects are connected to state standards in each subject area and also connected to a common key word every 9 weeks for the entire school.
At Pritchardville the STEM experience is becoming the way in which students learn and express themselves. Multiple standards and subjects are integrated into authentic problem based projects. Students are able to self-regulate their learning and understanding while finding creative solutions to authentic and complex problems.
Extended day STEM opportunities, increasing student work on local authentic problems, and continue working toward creating interdisciplinary, inquiry-based curriculum are the areas of focus for enhancement. Continuing to develop relationships with business partners in order to promote authentic STEM experiences for all children will provide increased opportunities for after school STEM activities and increase inquiry-based problem solving activities related to local issues. Continuing common planning time for grade-level educators will continue to enhance interdisciplinary inquiry-based curriculum with a STEM lens for learning. We need to increase movement away from programed curriculum and focus on using technology, engineering and mathematics as tools to solve real-world problems.