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Missed a newsletter?  Visit our website to read past issues -- S2TEM Centers SC Newsletter Archive 
The Journey
Alice Drive Middle School (ADM) earned AdvancED STEM school certification in 2015, but that was only the beginning!   We began the process of becoming a STEM school in 2012 through a partnership with S2TEM Centers SC.  Working together, a focused plan for transforming ADM into a STEM school was developed and implemented.  Our plan contains a vision and mission statement, a supporting philosophy, and clearly defined STEM core competencies along with school-wide goals which paved the way for intentional, strategic, and purposeful learning to occur. Three-years later we continue our annual strategic planning process, based on three-guiding goals for increasing student achievement:
  1. Increase student interest, participation, and achievement in STEM.
  2. Expand student access to effective STEM instruction.
  3. Build community awareness and partnership support for STEM.
With any journey, having a map and well-thought out plan will help you navigate the terrain and sometimes take you to parts unknown.
 
Embrace Change
One notable change resulting from this process was the transition to an A/B schedule. Students engage in the STEM curriculum through eight 90-minute classes, four each day.  Through project-based learning, students take the core courses of history, science, language arts, and math for the entire year. The remaining four classes are electives.  In addition to the more traditional electives of music, art and foreign language, students at ADM are offered a multitude of STEM-based electives throughout the year, including CSI-Forensics, Google CS First Coding, Aeronautics, Engineering/Robotics, Project Lead the Way-Gateway, Go Green, Future City, and Invention Convention. 
 
The flexible schedule has allowed students to see the interconnectedness of all areas of study as they relate to an essential question. In some classes where teachers have fully embraced problem-based learning, students are creating projects that have ties to the community, which helps to solidify the importance of STEM as a driver of powerful educational experiences.  
 
Expect Challenges
Changing schedules from 45 minutes to 90 minutes was not without challenges - unit plans needed to be rewritten, class time shuffled.  Initially, these hurdles seemed monumental for teachers.  Yes, there was frustration.  Be prepared to support teachers through transitions.  In the end, teachers embraced this change, supported the new scheduling and are now providing new directions for increasing STEM electives.

Build Strong Partnerships
We were fortunate to build strong partnerships with our local STEM community, successfully securing over $40,000 in grant funding to date. This enhances the curriculum by bringing excitement, discovery, and exploratory learning. Our partners include Boeing, Caterpillar, Becton Dickinson, Continental Tire, Honda, Central Carolina Technical College, and USC Sumter among others.
 
Monitor Your Progress
Students participate in an anonymous survey to measure their Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions (KAP) towards STEM in the beginning of the school year and again at the end. Recent analysis by our Building Data Team reveals a significant increase in the number of students whose KAP has positively changed from pre-to-post measurements in the areas of math, science, technology, and college aspirations. The data provided offers additional quantifiable evidence to support our school’s STEM program.  Additionally, quarterly tests are given in each subject area, and students chart & analyze their own resulting data in their electronic “Hawk Data Tracker.” This information is used as students prepare to present their individual progress to their parents or guardians during student-led conference night.

Look Toward the Future
As school leaders, it has been an overarching goal to strengthen the overall cohesiveness of our STEM program through a collaborative focus on strategic planning.  We are excited about expanding our school-wide STEM initiative as we seek to strengthen our culture of collaboration, global connection, and STEM-related partnerships to prepare students to be college and career ready.

Looking For a Change?


S2TEM Centers SC is hiring in the Coastal PD AND Midlands regions.

We are a community of fun, personable and passionate people!

While we strongly believe in our collective strengths, wisdom and knowledge, we also celebrate our personal accomplishments and support one another in times of need.

Our love and respect for each other is reflected in lower than average turnover rates, and our collective pride and enthusiasm for our "work family".


Learn More About the Position in the Coastal Pee Dee Region
Application Deadline - July 14, 2017

Learn More About the Position in the Midland Region.
Application Deadline - July 06,2017

Download Free Lessons
http://www.s2temsc.org/standard-support-system-s3-lessons.html

 

2017 Professional Development Opportunities


From Seeds to Shoreline® Teacher Training
New Teachers: August 2, 2017 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
SC Department of Natural Resources
James Island, SC

Veteran Teachers: August 3, 2017 from 10 AM – 4 PM
North Inlet Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Georgetown, SC

Community STEM Events and Educational Outreach

Visit STEM Linx to learn about more STEM events and opportunities around the state or to post an event or opportunity in your area.
iMAGINE STEM Festival Midlands
Monday, August 21, 2017, 10 am - 1 pm
Spirit Communications Park, Columbia, SC

Spend the day at the ballpark as part of your Total Eclipse Weekend
S2TEM Centers SC/SCCMS and the Columbia Fireflies are excited to announce the first iMAGINE STEM Festival Midlands.  Come early to enjoy the STEM Festival and stay for the ballgame and eclipse. Tickets for the game are required for entry to the STEM Festival.  As the eclipse nears totality, the game will stop so that fans can enjoy this natural phenomenon. After the skies start to lighten, the game will resume.  For more information on becoming a sponsor or participating in this event, contact us.

SAVE THE DATE

Lowcountry STEM Symposium 
October 3, 2017
8 AM - Noon, North Charleston, SC

Join with others in the community for a discussion on current, regional STEM issues. This year's theme - "Innovation in the Lowcountry".

More information coming soon!


http://www.lcstem.org/
The Gene Machine Mobile Science Laboratory allows the technology and expertise of the Greenwood Genetic Center to come directly to the classroom. The mobile science lab is available to visit high schools across South Carolina at no charge to the school. Find out More!

Field trips at Clemson University Life Sciences Outreach Center

The Clemson University Life Sciences Outreach Center offers laboratory field trips in modern genetics and biotechnology to school groups in our labs on the beautiful Clemson campus. Students will use modern technology to generate and analyze results and to learn key concepts. Students will also be introduced to relevant career pathways. View a list of labs and for information on bringing CULSOC labs to your school.
Copyright © 2017 South Carolina's Coalition for Mathematics & Science at Clemson University, All rights reserved.



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