Q: Can you tell me about yourself and your background in education?
A: “I started off teaching in the classroom for nine years. I’ve taught kindergarten, first, third, and Title 1. I have spent two years as an Elementary Assistant Principal, K-12 Curriculum Director, and two years as a High School Principal. I’ve been the Career and STEM Academy Director for four years.”
Q: What were your school’s STEM goals and how did EDforTech help you meet them?
A: “It was a big push for our kids and teachers to have STEM embedded in the classroom curriculum. We didn’t want it to be something separate and off the shelf. We want it to be something that drives instruction and computational thinking while enhancing our learners. We wanted our after-school STEM club to be an enrichment of the school day. Our work with EDforTech uses curriculum that allows them to do a deeper dive.”
Q: What’s the biggest challenge in implementing a STEM program that EDforTech has helped solve for your school?
A: “One of the biggest challenges is access for students. Most programs require working with robots that you have to keep at school, and there is no access outside of club time. Another challenge is the different levels of reaching students. We are able to work with different grades at one time. You have to meet each student where he/she is at. EDforTech has helped with both of those hurdles. Curriculum is accessible with Chromebooks at home and at school, not only in their club. Students have 24/7 access, and there are different levels of entry. We can plug into where they are at with their learning. They can use virtual robots and apply what they learn in the classroom. There is a connection.”
Q: Are students having fun participating in the program?
“They love it so far. It brings real world experience. They can see a future rather than just a hobby.”
Q: How has the program made a positive impact for your students?
A: “A lot of these kids are so excited about STEM and want to take it further. They are excited about having something that they can do. They can all participate because of the accessibility.”
Q: How has the program made a difference for educators?
A: “We have three STEM coaches. Everything is user friendly and there are teacher guides. It is self-paced and provides structure. They have content knowledge and support.”
Q: Why do you think it is important to support STEM education in schools?
A: “Honestly, I believe STEM is going to become one of our staples as far as reading and math. Students will have to understand coding and CS as far as thinking, problem solving, and perseverance. This is what we are hearing over and over. These are the skills students need. For job skills, that is huge. Our world is changing with technology. It is the way of the future for our kids.”
Q: Would you recommend EDforTech programs for other schools? Why?
A: “Absolutely. Todd is always so knowledgeable and wonderful to work with. I love brainstorming with him. He can always get me pointed in the right direction. EDforTech provides the team effort. When you are a school starting a program, you can feel that you are in uncharted territory and alone. EDforTech provides that support.”
STEM education encourages the next generation of engineers, technologists, scientists, and artists. Our team of STEM experts are here to support you in implementing meaningful K-12 learning experiences that empower students and educators. Request more information today about how you can incorporate STEM learning at your school and increase student achievement.