2018-05-12 / Front Page

STEM expanding to high school

By Ally Gribble
Endeavor News

Development of a new educational tool continues in the Cameron County School District.

Members of the school board discussed an incre­mental plan to expand the science, technology, engi­neering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum at this month’s meeting.

Goal for the upcoming school year is to begin to expand STEM from the elementary school, where it has been a success, to the upper grades, beginning with seventh- graders.

Some concern was raised about the potential elimination of library and research learning in order to accommodate STEM. A compro­mise will be pursued to continue library resource period for one semester and STEM for the opposite semester, contingent upon scheduling avail­ability.

“Bringing the STEM class to the seventh-graders will give a sense of continuity to the students moving up to the high school,” said Principal Amy Schwab.

Woodland El­ementary School’s “SmartLab,” a mod­ern learning facility supporting STEM education, was showcased during a recent open house.

Students led tours to demonstrate tools such as such as doo­dle computers, a 3D printer, snap circuit kits, a smart board and Tynker, a kids’ coding program.

Funding was pro­vided by the George A. & Margaret Mee Foundation ($75,000), Empo­rium Foundation and First Foundation Community Partner­ship.

Meanwhile, board members continue to grapple with com­plex budget issues as the district moves closer to the June 30 deadline to have a spending plan adopted for the 2018- 19 school year. Business Manager Carl Mitchell said a draft of the 2018-19 budget will be posted on the district website for public review.

Board members also approved Kerry Cummings as band front advisor and Michael James as assistant; Megan Crosby and Bunny McLean as summer custodians; and Cor­rine Burnside and Michael Slusarick as lifeguards.

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