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Beginning STEM Immersion at the Grassroots Level- The Laveen STEM Advocates Group

Posted By Linda Coyle, Friday, October 14, 2016

Are you interested in implementing STEM into your School?

Join the Laveen STEM Advocates on their Journey!

The Laveen STEM Advocates program was initiated by Dr. Joe Roselle, the Director of Grants and Partnerships for the Laveen School District.  Dr. Roselle began this collaborative partnership between 20 schools in eight different districts, all with an interest in implementing STEM programs within their schools.  The schools have committed to meet five times during the school year, each with a goal of developing a targeted, strategic plan for STEM immersion. 

STEM education is an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to learning that provides hands-on and relevant learning experiences for students.  STEM teaching and learning goes beyond the mere transfer of knowledge.  It engages students and equips them with critical thinking, problem solving, creative and collaborative skills, and ultimately establishes connections between the school, work place, community and the global economy.  STEM also helps students understand and apply math and science content, the foundations for success in college and careers.

The 20 schools, supported by Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz), Maricopa County Education Service Agency (MCESA), Grand Canyon University, Rio Salado, the Arizona Business Education Coalition, and the Arizona Department of Education STEM leadership team, began the process by using the STEM Immersion Guide to ascertain their current level of STEM immersion. The Guide developed by SFAz and MCESA describes four levels of immersion from Exploratory, Introductory, Partial Immersion and Full Immersion.  The schools took a self-assessment designed to help target their initial levels.  They will either go deeper into their current level or move up a level.  In addition, each level contains program descriptors in six different categories; Leading, Teaching, Learning, Budgeting, Evaluating and Sustaining.

The schools will each select a site specific Design Team made up of Superintendent (or Assistant Supt.), Parents, Higher Education Member, Students, Geographically Significant Employer, Principal, District Board of Education member, Teacher(s), District Level Finance Employee and Civic Leaders. The Design team works to grow the STEM program organically within the community. Each site will have a different strategic plan based on the mission, vision, goals and objectives of their specific districts. 

In addition to learning strategies for integrating STEM into their schools, the partners will each be provided current professional development opportunities by STEM service providers, an extensive list of resources to business partners, and a collaborative network to share ideas and best practices.

To join this group of dynamic educators contact Dr. Joe Roselle at: jroselle@laveeneld.org

 

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