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Posted September 15, 2016

STEM, STEAM, STEALTH

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy writes about efforts across the district to get students excited about science, technology, engineering and math as well art, literacy, transformation and health.

You may have seen these acronyms on our website, Facebook or Twitter feeds, or maybe even in our weekly newsletter. Perhaps you’ve noticed them on classroom and laboratory doors or in literature and handouts. Or maybe, if you’re like me, you’ve witnessed them first-hand.

Students not just learning about science, but living it, along with technology, engineering and math, art, literacy, transformation and health.

Let me tell you, it is something to behold.

Students from kindergarten through high school choosing their own inquisitive paths, forming hypothesizes, seeking solutions, imaging, exploring, inventing.

It’s happening in schools across the district, in classrooms and labs, on paper and tablets, in partnerships and teams: interactive, real-life, meaningful learning.

If you haven’t had a chance to witness this type of learning, stop by a STEM program or a STEAM or STEALTH lab and talk to the students about what they’re doing.

I had a chance to do that this week.

A group of students from West Mesa and Valley high schools set up an exhibit outside the board room Wednesday to show off what they’re doing in their STEM programs. Building rockets that fly through the air and underwater, launching and tracking high-altitude balloons, communicating with outer space, writing computer code. Wow, education has come a long way from the days or reading primers, spelling lists and multiplication tables.

“If you give these kids the tools and the time, they’ll do magic,” said Maj. Mark Hendricks, the JROTC teacher at West Mesa who is working with students on some of these innovative, collegiate-level projects.

 I agree. And it begins at the earliest grades. Have you seen the video posted on our website (and included in today’s message) of first graders at S.R. Marmon Elementary making slime? What they’re really doing is creating chemical reactions as well as following a recipe. Have you seen the video of third graders at E.G. Ross Elementary School catapulting a ball into a tower? What they’re really doing is engineering and problem solving.

This is just a sample of the great things that are happening in our schools, and I applaud all of you who are stepping up, thinking outside the box and working to help education become relevant.

Keep it up, and keep letting us know what you’re doing. We want to celebrate this great teaching, this great learning, this great support. It’s evidence of a job well done.

MakerSpace at E.G. Ross ES from APS in Motion on Vimeo.

Slime and STEAM from APS in Motion on Vimeo.

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