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Swampscott Public Schools STEM Initiative. STEM Consulting Teachers: Brandy Wilbur Sharon LaRosa Adam Scharfenberger. June 6, 2012. What is ?.

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Swampscott Public Schools STEM Initiative

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Swampscott Public Schools STEM Initiative

STEM Consulting Teachers:

Brandy Wilbur

Sharon LaRosa

Adam Scharfenberger

June 6, 2012

What is?

STEM education attempts to transform the typical teacher-centered classroom by encouraging a curriculum that is driven by problem-solving, discovery, exploratory learning, and requires students to actively engage a situation in order to find its solution.

Beyond Science, Technology, Engineering and Math


  • "Connections"

    • Students begin to understand and make connections between career pathways, core learning concepts and real world relevancy to 21st century learning skills.

  • "Performance"

    • Create a project based environment where students are challenged to solve a situation using a multi-disciplinary approach.

  • "Literacy"

    • Apply the knowledge defined by the common core by providing students instructions to create an informational or argumentative product while using essential skills in reading and writing.

  • "Real World Relevance"

    • Create innovative hands-on ways for students to learn skills while relating to real world scenarios.

2011-2012 Superintendent Goals for STEM Initiative

  • Expanding the existing K-12 STEM curriculum and new STEM clubs

  • Implementing K-12 Professional Development on STEM Curriculum

  • Modeling appropriate STEM lessons at each level

  • Meeting regularly with the Gelfand organization and STEM teachers

Initiative Overview

  • Developed by District STEM Team

    • District Administrative/Leadership Team

    • STEM Consulting Teachers

    • Technology/Robotics Teachers

    • Gelfand Family Charitable Trust

  • Created goals with objectives and implementation plan

  • In support of Superintendent’s goals

Goal 1: Provide opportunities for staff and students to foster 21st century skills

8th grade math calculations

SMART Boards K-12

ROV construction -7th grade

Van de Graaff electricity 4th grade

GIS in AP French

Trebuchets in Ancient World History

Objective A: Integrate current technology in the classrooms

Objective B: STEM related Field trip opportunities for students

Objective C: Integrate STEM themed lessons in classrooms

Invention Convention

  • Ms. Heather Carr

  • Hadley Elementary

  • In class and home project

  • Smilebox Presentation http://to.ly/dH3Q

Goal 2: Provide enrichment STEM activities outside of the traditional school day

Cable Club – Auction Night

5th grade student tests his program on an obstacle course

Robo Soccer at STEM Family Night

Objective A: Offer after school clubs/events with STEM theme

Objective B: Encourage/enhance summer offering with STEM

Objective C: Promote Area STEM Programs

Robotics Club at SHS

  • Mr. Richard Leonard

  • FIRST Robotics : Jan – March competition

  • 15 students participated

  • 3rd place Rookie Team

Goal 3: Create community partnerships that enhance STEM exposure to our students

7th grade gathered at Salem State University to videoconference with sister school from South Africa

City Lab bus – Boston University

Digits Program: Scientist visiting a 6th grade class

Objective A: Recruit area business, organizations and schools to present to students

Objective B: Establish partnerships with organizations to expand the offerings to the district

Sea Perch Challenge

  • Mr. Andrake and Mr. Butler

  • ROV’s with 7th and 8th grade

  • Partnership with MIT Sea Grant

Goal 4: Provide professional development to Swampscott teachers to enhance their ability to integrate STEM into their curriculum

Objective A: Participate in PD opportunities inter and intra district

Goal 5: Develop an assessment tool to evaluate the district STEM Initiative

Kindergarten Beach Walk

STEM Family Night at SHS

5th grade students on a field trip field trip to the Tsongas Industrial Center

Engineering of musical instruments : 6th grade

Objective A: Facilitate district wide STEM meetings to support the STEM Initiative.

  • Monthly District STEM Team meetings

    • Agenda and meeting notes

  • Bi-weekly STEM Consulting Teacher meetings

  • Building level STEM Committee meetings

Objective B: Create a district wide survey of teachers on their use and understanding of STEM

  • Elementary preliminary assessment survey

  • End of the year summary of activities report

  • Developing 2012-13 pre/post survey for district teachers

Next Steps

  • Expand upon existing STEM activities at all grade levels

  • Integrate STEM concepts into the Common Core

  • Evaluate the new Next Generation of Science Standards

  • Increase access to technology at all levels

  • Focus on cross-disciplinary lessons/projects

Sustainability – Beyond Year 1

  • District Solar Project

    • Middle and High School have panels

  • Weather Stations

    • All elementary schools and high school

  • Equipment sharing

    • Van de Graaff, robotics

  • Professional development

Sustainability – Beyond Year 1

  • Grant writing

    • STEM teachers pursuing small grants for each school

    • Meetings with Grant Sub-committee

  • Community partnerships

    • Life Technologies

  • Organized parent involvement

    • Parent groups, PTO’s

  • Community garden

    • Located at SHS, funded by SEF


  • Brandy Wilbur: wilbur@swampscott.k12.ms.us

  • Sharon LaRosa: larosa@swampscott.k12.ma.us

  • Adam Scharfenberger: scharfenberger@swampscott.k12.ma.us

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