Exposing students like Bowden at an early age to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (or STEM) is the focus of a new elementary school pilot program. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, 12 elementary schools including Hoffmann, will have STEM Labs. They’ll be staffed by certified teachers who will be tasked with working with grade level teachers to build lessons tied to the curriculum. Students will visit the STEM Labs on a rotating basis much like they do currently with music, art, and physical education.
For the first year, Allen, Brauchle, Cole, Colonies North, Ellison, Glenoaks, Hatchett, Hoffmann, Kallison, Murnin, Passmore, and Westwood Terrace elementary schools will have STEM Labs. The hope is to expand to additional elementary schools in future years.
“The purpose of these new STEM labs is to create opportunities for students to experience critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving through STEM, makerspaces, and computer coding type activities while providing choice,” said Doug Shudde, Director of Academic Technology. “These are experiences they will need to be successful in the 21st century.”
The STEM Lab will be next door to the Collaboratory at Hoffmann, continuing the school’s desire to provide every student with a variety of engaging learning experiences to prepare them for future academic success.
“One of the most exciting things to see this year has been that this space appeals to ALL students,” said Hoffmann ES Principal Carrie Squyres. “All students are actively engaged in here; whether they have academic or behavior challenges, whether they are in Pre-K or fifth grade. There's something here for everyone.”
Looking around the room at her classmates, Bowden said, “They all have smiles on their faces, they’re all interested, and they’re having fun in their own way.”