District Expanding STEM Options
Lakewood City Schools is responding to the community’s desire for more STEM instruction in our District by boosting the opportunities for students in this area across all grade levels. Through community listening sessions and surveys conducted last year, this was one of our stakeholders’ top curriculum priorities.
While the successful Ranger Hub makerspace and Project Lead the Way engineering program of West Shore Career-Tech were serving our high school students, it was evident that more needed to be done at the elementary and middle school levels. In response, the District has developed a comprehensive STEM curriculum continuum for all grade levels that ranges from discover, to immersion, application and finally career and entrepreneurship.
This school year, our middle schoolers have already seen increased STEM instruction as students are required to take a STEM class one quarter each year. The District also re-aligned staff assignments to strengthen the STEM instruction and have increased funding to provide for new technology.
The District has also provided funding to each of our elementary schools to develop their own makerspaces – a place where students can make, learn, explore and share creative ideas using high tech tools or simple craft supplies. Makerspaces help build many of the competencies of our Vision of a Lakewood Graduate from critical and creative thinking to collaboration, communication and growth mindset.
Beginning next year, our STEM curriculum at the middle school will expand to include Project Lead the Way and subject-specific STEM classes by grade that include:
- Grade 6: Green Architecture
- Grade 7: Design & Modeling
- Grade 8: Automation & Robotics
At the high school, the Ranger Hub in January will be expanded so that more classes may take advantage of the extensive STEM equipment available, made possible by a generous grant from the Lakewood Rangers Education Foundation.