The Digital Commons had a fantastic year of PowerTALKS, our version of TEDtalks. We were able to solicit experts to donate their time and energy to come speak to our students. They spoke on a range of topics from empowering women to financial success to the power of video online and much more. We offered two different speaking sessions this year based on our lunch schedule. STEM classes and students at lunch were welcomed into the DC for a 20 minute talk followed by a Q+A session.
What is STEM? SVVSD defines STEM as integration of all subjects, problem solving, 21st century skills, personalized learning and connections in and beyond their local lives. TRMS teachers teach STEM by carefully planning out Integrated STEM Plans, ISPs, for the school year.
The last ISP we finished in 6th grade science this year was a space challenge. The standards the students need to succeed at are:
St. Vrain Valley School District has partnered with the University of Colorado at Boulder to incorporate authentic engineering into the classroom in a program called CU Teams. Engineering graduate students have the opportunity to pay for their school through teaching engineering lessons in K-12 public education.
Over the school year, my honors class completed a special project with the International Telementoring Program. “The International Telementoring Program, ITP, provides real-world STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities for students and teachers while supporting work in other areas such as English, Geography, and the Arts. ITP also helps students, beginning in middle school, to develop solid education + career plans, create + leverage professional networks, and execute + refine these plans over multiple years.
Through the Race to the Top grant and the Department of Education, Anna Mills designed a STEM project for her students to complete. You can find the project here. Please read on to discover how working through the design thinking process while instructing using grade level standards results in high level student engagement and understanding.
Have you heard of Stem Leaders or whatever they are called? Well actually they are called STEM Student Leadership Team members. I know this sounds boring but they are the ones who decide and come up with the STEM Enrichment that you go to everyday. They also give tours, write blogs (like this one), and think of ways to make STEM better here at TRMS. If you have a STEM Enrichment that you really enjoy, you owe some credit to the members of SSLT.