STEM – LeRoy CUSD #2

February 28, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ STEM in Education

STEM is an important part of the curriculum at LeRoy CUSD #2.  We believe that all curricular components of STEM or STEAM, help prepare students to enter the workforce by helping to build their communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity skills.

Over the past couple of years, we have worked diligently to provide STEM learning opportunities throughout our district.  This began, in part, with providing training on Defined STEM to all of our Pre-K through 12th grade teachers.  Many of those teachers chose to seek additional advance training, and have integrated Defined STEM resources into their regular instruction.

Our Pre-K classrooms, elementary Panther Care after school program, and summer enrichment program have integrated STEM learning into their curriculum through working with our STEM teachers and partnering with Illinois State University’s Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology (CeMaST).  Through these partnerships, students have learned STEM curricula and completed a variety of hands-on learning activities.  The morning session of our summer enrichment for elementary students is a STEM curriculum that creates learning opportunities and experiences that may not normally be accessible in a regular school day.  All of our elementary classroom teachers have integrated STEM units into their regular instruction with the support of Defined STEM and some of our STEM “experts” on staff.  On any given day in our elementary classrooms, there are STEM activities occurring.

In our junior high school, we started a STEM Exploratory class where students get exposed directly to STEM learning.  At the high school level, an Introductory to STEM elective has been added, which builds on concepts introduced in the junior high exploratory class.  Students at all grade levels in the district have completed STEM projects and gained exposure to a variety of STEM technologies, such as coding, drones, robots, Snap Circuits, 3D Printing, Ozobots, Makerblock, and a variety of others.

In addition to day to day STEM learning, we have held several special STEM events.  Last year, our freshmen and sophomores spent half a day participating a large group STEM event with SMARTpath Education.  In this event, students used critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills to work through STEM stations and ultimately complete a larger STEM task.  This past fall, our elementary school hosted their first STEAM night for students and families.  Students and families had the opportunity to explore STEM learning with robots, designing rockets, solving escape room puzzles, and other technology resources.  This spring, high school students will participate in an end of the year event with SMARTpath Education where they will learn about STEM careers through an interactive learning experience that will partner with professionals in STEM careers.

LeRoy CUSD #2 will continue to challenge students to be innovative and take risks as we provide multiple opportunities to foster experiences in which students are able to take ownership in their learning through STEM.  You can follow us on Twitter @LeRoySTEM to see what our students are doing with STEM.