Delaware’s STEM Initiatives: Ready for Federal Competition?

July 14th, 2011

Category: News

Are you planning an innovative STEM initiative for a high-need public school? Are you an educator who already incorporates STEM into your curriculum by using outside resources? If so, there is an online competition waiting to reward your novel ideas to engage STEM experts from various fields with high-need public schools. Entrants will be assessed in three categories: innovation, social impact, and sustainability; and the deadline is August 3 at 5pm. Winners will receive more than $120,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, which is significantly more than the recently announced i3 grants.

A number of STEM initiatives are underway in Delaware from the state to classroom levels. Governor Markell’s STEM Council established its agenda around building college and career readiness in STEM fields. And several districts have included STEM efforts in their Race to the Top plans

The Brandywine School District has replaced their traditional shop classes with STEM Learning Centers at the middle and high schools. The district also hired a STEM program manager, Mr. Jud Wagner, who also happens to be the co-chair of the Delaware STEM Council. Enhanced efforts are paying off, as many Brandywine middle and high school students placed significantly high in the National Technology Student Association Conference last month.

The Seaford School District has launched a pilot program called “Junior Tech Academy”, which uses a new science and technology initiative called Engineering is Elementary. This six week, summer thematic program for 90 struggling students is being supported by state science education associates and specialists from DOE and sponsored by the district’s Parent & Family Resource Center.

With the work highlighted here, it is obvious educators are “re-envisioning” how to teach science, math, engineering and technology subjects to its students. Education innovation is alive and well in Delaware; we hope many districts take advantage of the federal competition.

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Christy Vanderwende



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