Integration of STEM Practices Going Strong at Beaches Episcopal SchoolBy Diana Wehrell-Grabowski on November 21, 2013 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Teacher Training Workshops
Visited Beaches Episcopal School in Jacksonville Beach, Florida for the first of three follow-up STEM education consultation visits. I had conducted a one day hands-on, inquiry-based STEM teacher training for the entire staff in June of 2013. Beaches Episcopal School had chosen to investigate implementing STEM education practices and content throughout the entire school for the 2013 school year and beyond. During my first return visit for the 2013 school year this week I was excited to see how well the integration of STEM education practices were taking place within all grade levels. All teachers are incorporating reflective journaling within their classrooms, and shared samples of their students’ journals. The pre-K, K, and First Grade Classes have planted a garden that will rotate plants according to the seasons. Students maintain the garden, and conduct STEM explorations using the garden. I was really impressed with the journals, and how eager the teachers were to incorporate STEM education within their classrooms. Teachers shared that the students are really enjoying the journals, and experiencing STEM in a hands-on-minds-on way. Parents are also excited with the push to incorporate STEM education throughout the entire school. During the consultation visit each grade level was introduced to several additional STEM investigations they could incorporate within their classes, making connections to the science content areas they will be introducing within the coming days and weeks. Check out the photos from Beaches Episcopal School, and their efforts to integrate STEM education practices and content throughout their entire school. I look forward to visiting the school throughout the 2013-2014 year to observe how STEM education can truly transform the way we teach and think.