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Rockingham County Schools

511 Harrington Highway

Eden, North Carolina 27288

Phone:  (336) 627-2600  Fax:  (336) 627-2660

Superintendent's E-mail:  rshotwell@rock.k12.nc.us

S.T.E.M. Resources

For more information on program available, contact your school.

What is STEM?

S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The term STEM is used to express the immensely important educational goal of integrating all curriculum behind the skills that are thought to be the most vital to the success of students in the 21st Century. STEM education is evolving into an integrative curriculum aimed at preparing students for the challenges of the 21st Century. A research-based STEM education program prepares our students to become creative and innovative problem solvers, researchers, engineers, and designers. 

STEM FAQs

 
What is STEM?

S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The term STEM is used to express the immensely important educational goal of integrating all curriculum behind the skills that are thought to be the most vital to the success of students in the 21st Century. STEM education is evolving into an integrative curriculum aimed at preparing students for the challenges of the 21st Century. A research-based STEM education program prepares our students to become creative and innovative problem solvers, researchers, engineers, and designers.

Why is STEM important for our students?

Every job within the 21st Century is likely to require some amount of skill in science, technology, engineering and math. The integration of engineering and technology within the mathematics and science curriculum will make instruction more meaningful and engaging as well as provide students with  the skills that are critical to success in the 21st Century. This includes the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and drive advancements in science and technology. STEM is not just about science and math; it’s about being ready for college, careers and life. We need to ensure we are using all of our current resources efficiently in developing a sustainable STEM program that will distinguish RCS students from all other students in the state and nation.

What is the Rockingham County STEM Grant?
In February 2011, Rockingham County Schools received a $325,000 grant for STEM education from the Golden Leaf Foundation. This grant is to be spread over a three year period and used to provide teacher training as well as instructional resources. The purpose of this Golden LEAF grant is to establish a partnership between Rockingham Schools (RCS), NCA&T University, National Teaching Network (NTN) and Rockingham County Business & Technical Center with a goal of enhancing the ability of RCS teachers to effectively educate students in science, technology, engineering and math.

How can STEM be integrated into all content areas?

The four parts of STEM have been taught  independently of one another for years. By adopting the STEM philosophy, the instruction of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics will no longer be taught in isolation, but will each play an integral part in the curriculum as a whole. (Partnership with NTN, KEMS and KEAS, Discovery Learning, Science Kits, Tech Steps, NCA&T for Robotics, and curriculum resources). The science, engineering, and mathematics fields are made complete by the technology component that provides a creative and innovative way to problem solve and apply what has been learned.

Are other school districts implementing STEM?

Yes, many districts  in North Carolina are implementing STEM. In larger school districts, whole schools are being organized around the STEM model.  Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools has three STEM Magnet Schools, one each at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.  Guilford County Schools’ has a STEM-focused elementary school, while in the fall of 2012 the STEM Early College at NC A&T will open. By contrast, in Rockingham County all schools are impacted in some way, while two elementary schools and all middle and high schools are STEM-identified.

What should STEM “look like” in the classroom?

Elementary School
Teachers are engaging students in the use of Discovery Science and technology tools to produce digital projects.  Discovery Science provides text that can be used in all content areas for applicable integration such as lesson plans, videos, and interactive assignments.  Carolina Biological kits are used to increase the use of inquiry based science in the classroom. Math teachers are using KEMS (Key Elements of Mathematical Success.)

Middle School
Middle School Content areas are using science kits provided by Carolina Biological. Additionally, teachers are utilizing Discovery Science to enhance instruction. Math teachers are using KEMS (Key Elements of Mathematical Success.)  There is a facilitation of Technology integrating all of the components of the content areas.

High School
Students will now have access to their individual devices facilitating seamless access to STEM initiatives.  Our district learning management system allows students to create projects in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Each high school will have an opportunity to send a team of students to NC A&T summer robotics camp. Robotics camps are a great way to spark student interest in the STEM fields. Students have fun learning about robotics, computer programming, and don’t realize they are applying their mathematics, science, and technology knowledge to engineer solutions to a variety of robotic challenges. In the spring of 2012, Reidsville High School’s robotics team won the Palmetto Regional US First’s robotic program in Charleston and placed 14th in the world championship in St. Louis. Math teachers are using KEAS (Key Elements of Algebraic Success.)

As Rockingham County Schools proceed with the STEM initiative, classrooms will move towards project-based learning as teachers engage in job-embedded professional development, PLCs focused on STEM activities, and integrating STEM across the core curriculum in a way that requires students to synthesize knowledge.
How can STEM support the implementation of the Common Core and NC Essential Standards?
STEM’s emphasis on inquiry, problem-solving, real-world applications, and synthesizing knowledge is aligned with Common Core and NC Essential Standards.  For example, the standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges; they prepare students to think and reason mathematically. STEM connections and resources will be embedded in RCS instructional guides. These guides will be used by teachers to facilitate classroom instruction and implementation of the Common Core, NC Essential Standards, and STEM education.

 
What are some basic steps parents can take to help their children explore STEM?

Here are some things you can do as a parent to encourage your child’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This information is taken from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):

  • Parents can help their children by exhibiting attitudes and values that support learning. Encourage your child to ask questions and avoid negative statements like “I was never good at math”; be positive and expect your child to be successful.

  • Help your child see how they encounter science, technology and mathematics in their everyday life. Whether it be in the sports section of the newspaper reviewing team statistics, cooking with your child or working around the house on painting or building projects, point out how mathematics, science or technology is being used.

  • Encourage students to ask questions and explore careers early. How much education is required to be a mechanical engineer, a computer programmer, or a radiologist? What subjects should they be taking in school to prepare them for a STEM career?

  • Familiarize yourself with the national and state standards in science, mathematics, and technology. Become aware of what your child should be learning at each grade level.

  • Have your child involved in various organizations such as the 4-H club, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorer Clubs, or Boys and Girls clubs that help develop an interest in the STEM fields.

  • Take advantage of informal learning opportunities such as museums, science centers, planetariums, aquariums, zoos, and park/recreation programs. We live in an area that has excellent selection of informal learning opportunities and programs.

 

Resources

Learn how to do a Science Project

Click here to view presentation

HotBotz!  Click picture to visit site.

RHS Hotbotz.jpg

Teacher Resources

Click here to visit the Teacher Resource page