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主页 资讯 State Board of Education awards STEM designations to 3 Southern Utah schools
State Board of Education awards STEM designations to 3 Southern Utah schools
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来源MAXSTEAM 点击量 日期2016-05-18 17:22 分享到

ST. GEORGE — In an effort to develop strong instruction for K-12 students in Utah that will prepare them for college and careers, as well as enlighten members of the public seeking quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics education experiences, the Utah State Board of Education — in partnership with the Utah STEM Action Center — approved 19 public schools last week for the Utah STEM School Designation program.


Three of the schools are located in Southern Utah: Crimson View Elementary and Sunset Elementary schools in St. George and Hurricane Elementary School in Hurricane.


The Utah STEM School Designation program defines STEM education:


The intentional inclusion of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and their associated practices, to create a student-centered learning environment in which students investigate, engineer solutions to problems, and construct evidence-based explanations of real-world phenomena.

The STEM Action Center was created as a result of legislation passed and signed into law during the 2013 Utah legislative session. The legislation provides for the STEM Action Center to designate schools as STEM schools, “where the schools have agreed to adopt a plan of STEM implementation in alignment with criteria set by the State Board of Education and the board.”


The full application and review process occurred during the 2015-16 school year. Sarah Young, STEM liason with the STEM Action Center, said that of the 42 schools that expressed an interest in the fall of 2015, 26 submitted completed applications and 19 were ultimately approved based on stakeholder review. Stakeholders included teachers, principals, district leaders and community council members.

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Each application was evaluated using the program’s Ten Dimensions of STEM School Designation:


Curriculum

Leadership

Assessment

Professional Learning

Teaching

Student Engagement and Equity

Community

Facilities

Strategic Alliances

Advancement and Sustainability

According to a press release from the STEM Action Center, the 19 schools that were approved “demonstrated their excellence in STEM education, including student project-based learning, community partnerships and support for teacher professional learning.”


As part of the evaluation, each school was awarded with various STEM designations based on the school’s level of implementation for all of the proposed elements: bronze, silver, gold and platinum, platinum being the highest.


In Southern Utah, Sunset Elementary School received a bronze designation, Hurricane Elementary School received a gold designation and Crimson View Elementary School received a platinum designation. Only one other Utah school received a platinum designation: Beehive Science and Technology Engineering Academy in Sandy.


“I think what really distinguishes our STEM schools is that they have chosen STEM education as their lens for schoolwide education,” Young said. “We have a lot of folks who do great STEM work in their classroom — be it a science classroom, a math classroom or an engineering classroom. … In a school level, the whole community has agreed that this is the lens that they think meets the needs of their kids.”


These schools are using STEM and problem-based learning to guide their full-school programs, Young said, including after-school programs and clubs and looking for interdisciplinary learning between humanities subjects and STEM subjects.


Young said that being STEM really is a community effort.


“No one discipline can do it alone, and no one group can do it alone,” she said


As part of the application process, the STEM Action Center asked schools for evidence of their community’s “buy-in,” including contributions and participation from parents and community partners such as clubs, nonprofits and industry.


“It’s looking at how we leverage the expertise that comes from all of these different stakeholders to create a comprehensive STEM learning environment.”


This is the pilot year for the STEM School Designation program. The STEM Action Center expects even more applications for the next round of consideration, Young said, which will open June 21 at the STEM Best Practices conference in Sandy.


“We’re really excited now that we have our first set of schools with the award to hopefully build on that momentum and get other schools involved too,” Young said.

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