August, 2012 -- This page profiles six STEM Middle Schools that were launched in the past 7 years and are engaged in both a STEM focus and 21st Century Learning. It has been my practice in the past to only profile and recommend exemplar schools and districts that I know well through personal visits and knowledge. However, today it is possible to visit some schools and districts through the World Wide Web and see documents, articles, and videos that tell the story of what is happening in these places. A good name for this process is "curating". I first consulted knowledgeable colleagues around the country for recommendations and also searched the WWW for candidate schools. In some instances there were other candidate innovative STEM middle schools, however there were not sufficient additional artifacts to validate their "innovative" practices. To develop this page and its resources, I then scoured each school's website and then searched the Internet for "artifacts"--additional materials, articles, and videos. If you have a recommendation of additional schools to profile, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope this page proves useful to those who are designing and developing the next generation of STEM Middle Schools. --- Bob Pearlman
From S.T.E.M. to S.T.E.A.M
In order to inspire and challenge our 21st century learners, Preston has adopted a four-pronged approach to STEM education: STEM focused classes and enrichments, School-Wide research projects on STEM themes, STEM extra-curricular activities, and the STEM Summer Institute. In 2006, 25 students were involved in MathCounts, an association for mathematics competitions and math enhancement. Preston had no specific STEM exploratory classes, robotics program, Science Olympiad and did not participate in science fair. In 2010, Preston examined the number of students enrolled in STEM classes, participated in robotics competitions and classes and Science Olympiad and science fair as well as MathCounts and the number of 'touches' (students involved in a specific activity) was well over 900!
S.T.E.M. Institute - Science Technology Engineering Math
- Preston Middle School Website
- Preston Middle School, 4901 Corbett Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80528, 970.488.7300
- Principal: Scott Nielsen, Asst. Principal: John Howe
- Preston STEM Rationale
- STEM Home Page
- Why STEM, Why Now?
- STEM Classes
- STEM Research
- STEM Activities
- STEM Summer Institutes
- August Newsletter Preston 2011
- Preston Science Fair Projects with International Telementor Program
- Preston Students Getting Wild! Colorado middle school students participate in a unique research
project that has them howling for more science and learning, Telementor Project Summary, 2012
- Students Find Strength in Writing: Focusing on real needs within their community, these middle school students are writing with purpose and passion, Telementor Project Summary, 2012
- Two Schools Cross Borders, Help Forests: Colorado Middle School teams up with Children of the Philippines with help from Thomson Reuters mentors for a beautiful result, Telementor Project Summary, 2012
- Science Olympiad! Tuesday, April 24, 2012
- G-STEM Field Trip (Girls STEM), Tuesday, April 24, 2012
- Preston Wins 2011 Intel School of Distinction (Story and Video)
- Preston Students are ....Getting Wild! Middle school science research takes a fascinating turn, by Victor Rivero, telementor journal, Spring 2012, pages 4-7. Also see interview with teacher Amy Schmer and Mentor-Student Correspondence, pages 8-10.
- Preston students soak in experience: Guzzler project gives sixth-graders hands-on wildlife lesson, coloradan.com, December 6, 2011.
- Preston STEM Intro
- Installation of second wildlife guzzler at the top of Sulzer Gulch, Dec. 1, 2012, by Amy Schmer's sixth grade students and their parents. The first month of wildlife activity is incredible.
- All videos associated with the guzzler project
- Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project - First Field Trip - October 4, 2012 by David Neils.
- Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project, September 2011 to June 2012.
- Rachel's Presentation on Criminal Psychology, December, 2012. Project from Teacher Cameron Shinn's 6th grade English class. All students were matched with mentors from the International Telementor Program who challenged and supported their work.
- S.T.E.M. Summer Institute for students
National Inventors Hall of Fame School, Akron, Ohio
NIHF opened in 2009 in temporary quarters and moved into its permanent location in 2010. The National Inventors Hall of Fame School (NIHF School) adjoins the former National Inventors Hall of Fame, a portion of which now operates as the Invent Now Museum. The school's vision is to provide the highest quality education experience for students that ensures creativity and inventive thinking through a focus on science, mathematics and technology.
- National Inventors Hall of Fame® School ... Center for STEM Learning Website
- 199 S. Broadway St., Akron, Ohio 44308, 330.761.3195
- Principal: Traci Buckner, Bio
- About the NIHF, Vision, & Mission
- Vision: To provide the highest quality education experience for students that ensures creativity and inventive thinking through a focus on science, mathematics and technology.
- Mission: To nurture a community of empowered learners who will succeed in a global society. Partners include Akron Public Schools, City of Akron, National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation' The University of Akron, Akron Tomorrow, and the Greater Akron Chamber.
- Invent Now partnership
- NIHF STEM Summer Camp Guide
- NIHF STEM Parent STEMacademy - Educating Parents and Families, Jan 03, 2011
- Problem Based Learning (PBL) Overview, Dec 01, 2010
- Student enrollment appliocation
- Facility Data Sheet, Ruhlin
Articles & Videos
- NIHF School opens doors to University of Akron students, September 26, 2011
- STEM student is semi-finalist for National Science Fair, Aug 24, 2011
- STEM students recorded anti-bullying song at Channel 15, July 27, 2011
- STEM sixth-grader wins "Coolest Creations" contest, July 12, 2011
- Businesses buy into STEM, By Feoshia Henderson, hi-velocity, June 02, 2011
- 'Big footprints' of Ohio STEM schools blazing trails across state lines, STEMscape, By Gene Monteith, Monday, May 23, 2011
- Older students share lessons on universe : Oreos in hands of fifth-graders help explain moon phases, By John Higgins, Beacon Journal, May 23, 2011
- NIHF-STEM Learners Compete at State Science Day, May 17, 2011
- STEM students shine at inaugural G-Force Challenge, by Gene Monteith, February 21, 2011
- Q&A: Three STEM students discuss their G-Force Challenge projects, February 28, 2011
- 75 National Inventors Hall of Fame® School Learners Qualify to Present at Regional Science Fair, Feb 28, 2011
- Video: CNN Story: How to Teach Creativity, November 4, 2010
- Akron: National Inventors Hall of Fame School opens, Sep 29, 2010
- Model school, Sep 29, 2010
- Akron's new National Inventors Hall of Fame School building showcases STEM learning capabilities, STEMscape, By Gene Monteith, September 20, 2010
- "The Creativity Crisis" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, Newsweek, July 10, 2010. . The article eplores the link between creativity and learning and reports the latest research on creativity and the finding that US creativity scores have been declining since 1990. The article highlights the National Inventors Hall of Fame School.
- Video Interview: Susan Hall, Media Specialist for the National Inventors Hall of Fame® STEM School in Akron, Ohio, discusses project based learning and her role as a coach at the innovated school.
STEM Middle Academy,
STEM Middle Academy is a magnet school in Springfield, MA. The school opened in the fall of 2008 with 100 sixth grade students. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM Middle Academy integrates the STEM theme in everything we do. Staff members plan integrated units that include the STEM theme. STEM Middle Academy has been awarded a second Federal Magnet Grant and will be enhancing itsSTEM theme through Expeditionary Learning.
- STEM Middle Academy Website
- Principal - Kathleen R. O'Sullivan
- 60 Alton Street Springfield, MA 01109, (413) 787-6750
- District STEM web page
- School Song
- News: What's Going on at STEM Middle Academy?
- STEM News from the 2010-11 School Year
- Girls in Engineering Club
- Grade 7 Integrated Units and Celebrations of Learning
- Facility design by CBI Consulting
Articles & Videos
- Video: Astronaut in space talks to students: Cady Coleman is on the International Space Station, WWLP Channel 22 News, March 29, 2011 (10:23)
- Middle school students race solar cars at Commerce High School, masslive.com, June 12, 2011
- Massachusetts Students Call Space Station Astronaut, NASA press release, March 25, 2011
- iRobot Launches "20 in 20" STEM Education Initiative, September 9, 2010
Waukesha STEM Academy
Waukesha (WI) school district opened K-5 and 6-8 STEM charter schools in Fall 2010, Waukesha STEM Academy (WSA), at the Randall and Saratoga campuses, respectively. The mission of WSA is to engage, inspire, and empower a community of learners in thinking, collaborating, innovating, and creating for the future.
- Waukesha S.T.E.M. Academy Website
- Waukesha STEM Academy - Randall Campus (Gr K-5) Principal: Christopher Kluck, 262.970.2310
- Waukesha STEM Academy - Saratoga Campus (Gr 6-8) Principal: Ryan Krohn, or 262.970.2510
- Mission: ENGAGE l THINK l COLLABORATE l INNOVATE l CREATE
The mission of WSA is to engage, inspire, and empower a community of learners in thinking, collaborating, innovating, and creating for the future.
- STEM Summit Powerpoint Presentation, June 14, 2011: STEM is NOT a 4-letter Word! Top 10 Lessons Learned that any School can Apply
- WSA STEM Summit Handout
- Welcome to the Waukesha STEM Academy Online Art Room
- wistem.org, Wisconsin's source for all things STEM
Articles & Videos
- Challenges Met in Inaugural Year of the Waukesha STEM Academy: Families and principal looking forward to STEM 2.0, Waukesha Patch, June 11, 2011
- STEM schools getting a good grade: New schools off to good start, superintendent says, Waukesha Now, January 4, 2011
- Video: "Ideas. Determination. Discovery." A 30-second commercial for the Waukesha STEM Academy.
- Video: "Ideas. Determination. Discovery" Longer version (2:36).
- New chapter begins in Waukesha schools: STEM Academy brings rigorous curriculum, Waukesha Now, August 24, 2010
- Waukesha 7th-Graders Compete in World Robotics Event: Robotic skills highlighted but also teamwork and cooperation, Waukesha Patch, April 18, 2011
San Mateo, CA
The Bayside STEM Academy, a middle school in San Mateo, California, switched to a STEM-oriented curriculum in 2008. Sixth- through eighth-grade students are taught a core curriculum along with a rotating wheel of STEM courses, which can include classes in architecture, acoustics, and other subjects.The school has a creative approach to STEM, due in part to its unique relationship with the nearby Stanford University Institute of Design. ( from Scholastic Adminstrator, April 2010).
A San Mateo, CA middle school with a high-quality instructional program that is designed to integrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.), including:
- An instructional project-based environment in which students are immersed in S.T.E.M.
- An outstanding faculty comprised of specialists in S.T.E.M. who bring an international perspective to the classroom
- Ongoing opportunities for students to demonstrate new skills and knowledge through science exhibits and other S.T.E.M. based competitions
- A Gifted And Talented Education (GATE) cluster
- Bayside S.T.E.M. Academy Website
- THE Bayside S.T.E.M. Academy, 2025 Kehoe Ave., San Mateo, CA 94403, 650-312-7660
- Principal: Dr. Jeanne Elliott
- About Bayside S.T.E.M.
- Partnerships. Stanford's d.school.
- THE Bayside S.T.E.M. Academy Learning Commons
- Taking Design Thinking to Schools (PDF), Stanford d. school
Articles & Videos
- Video: THE Bayside S.T.E.M. Academy
- Video:Bolt STEMposium -- 1 minute video introducing the robotics engineering and computer programming STEM initiative at Bayside S.T.E.M. Academy
- "Redesigning STEM: Districts around the country are finding innovative ways to lure students into science and math education", Scholastic Administrator, April 2010
- STEM: The hottest new thing in teaching, Friday, August 29, 2008, KGO-TV, San Francisco, CA
Jefferson Parish, LA
Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy (PFTSTA) in Jefferson Parish, LA, is a Grade 6-12 middle-high school that "provides enriched instruction in mathematics, science, and technology in an academically challenging, college preparatory environment. Teachers engage students with research-based practices to develop 21st century skills such as cooperative and collaborative learning and technology integration. " The school has received numberous awards: 2010 Blue Ribbon School, Homefacts A+ School, and Louisiana Five-Star School. PFTSTA is a regional school open to students throughout the New Orleans area. It opened in 2004 with 88 seventh and eighth graders in the school system's Special Services Building in Elmwood. Today, it educates almost 300 students in grades 6 through 12, becoming a full-day middle and high school and is temporarily located at the old Deckbar School campus in Old Jefferson. A new facility and a cornerstone of the Churchill Technology and Business Park in Avondale is expected to start rising this Fall (2011) for the new Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Regional Academy and Conference Center. The new facility will feature 100,000 square feet of classroom space for grades 6-12. It will include 22 classrooms and six pod areas for specialized sciences that will provide students with extra space for breakout sessions. The current school has between 300 and 400 students, and the new facility will have a target enrollment of 600.
- Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy Website
- 2012 Jefferson Highway. Jefferson, LA 70121, (504) 838-2249. Map.
- Principal: Jaime Zapico
- Our Mission: The Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, in partnership with the business community and local universities, is devoted to providing a challenging, rigorous learning environment in which academically capable students will pursue advanced studies with an emphasis on science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.
- About PFTSTA: Mission, PBL, School-Wide Learning Outcomes.
- PFTSTA Wikipedia Page. New Tech Network profile.
- School Newsletter (2010-2011). Newsletter Archive (2009-2010).
- Architect's design of new facility (2009)
- Taylor News Network
- Course Catalog
- CLASS Web Sites: High School Independent Research Project:, Senior Project Site, Power Skills, Grade 6
Articles & Videos
- Bi-Annual Awards Recognize Teacher and Media Specialists Teams That Improve Student Achievement, September 12, 2011.
- Pat Taylor Academy is named National Blue Ribbon school, nola.com, September 09, 2010
- Inaugural class graduates from Taylor Academy, Jefferson Parish's first magnet school, nola.com, May 20, 2009
- Walton Constructions $27M bid lowest for Patrick Taylor Academy, The Newsroom, August 23rd, 2011
- Video: Student Q & A on Project Based Learning
- It Takes a Community, New Tech Network, April 11, 2011
From STEM to STEAM
September, 2011 -- There is increasing interest nationally in integrating the Arts, particularly design, into STEM programs and there is evidence of transforming existing STEM schools into STEAM schools and developing new STEAM Middle and High Schools. But most of this is targeted for Fall 2012 and I have been unable to discover as yet any intentional STEM Middle or High Schools that currently have a fully developed STEAM program and emphasis. Below are some links for schools that are in the planning stages, and some interesting articles and videos concerning the move from STEM to STEAM. -- Bob Pearlman
- Mounds View Public Schools (MN): Turning STEM into STEAM, Video: Full STEAM Ahead, Brochure. Middle schools in Mounds View have readapted curriculum to focus more on preparing students in the concepts of science, technology, engineering and math often referred to as STEM. In fall 2012, all middle schools will add an arts component to this approach, turning STEM into a standards-based STEAM program.
- STEAM Academy at Crystal Lake Middle School, 2410 North Crystal Lake Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801-6299, (863) 499-2970
- Newark STEAM Academy: The Newark STEAM Academy, opening in Fall 2012, is an exciting new school that incorporates the nationally acclaimed Big Picture Learning (BPL) design of a small highly personalized and high performance school environment with a rigorous and relevant cross-disciplinary approach that integrates academic and experiential learning focusing on complex problem solving/critical thinking skills applied to the challenges of sustainability and the environment. Contact: Carlos R. Moreno, New Jersey Director of Big Picture Learning, 973-400-9532.
- High Tech High, San Diego. HTH does not explicitly call itself a STEAM school, but CEO Larry Rosenstock says "A STEM focus is central to our design and success, but we also integrate the arts (often referred to as STEAM) to prepare students to participate in a global economy and help them to focus on their futures both in college and in careers."
Articles & Videos
- Full Steam Ahead on CS-STEM, SEED Magazine, by Idit Harel Caperton, May 24, 2011