APS STEM On the Move!
"Sharing Successes Big and Small"
Sharing the Stories
Atlanta Public Schools STEM Signature Program is in full gear. We currently have twenty-four schools implementing STEM (or STEAM) activities to better engage students in their learning. This newsletter is our way of sharing the stories of our STEM schools. Articles for the newsletter should be forwarded to Dr. Bradley, district STEM Coordinator, no later than the 2nd Friday of each month.
Congratulations to Cleveland and South Atlanta!
Recently, the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and TAG Education Collaborative honored several Georgia schools and colleges for achievements in STEM. Cleveland Avenue Elementary School and South Atlanta High School were among the honorees. Cleveland was recognized in the Elementary School category. South Atlanta was one of two schools recognized in the High School category. These APS schools were recognized for innovative STEM curriculum, promoting STEM Education in the classroom, and expanding STEM skills while helping to point students towards productive technology related careers. The work at these two schools could not move forward with out the leadership of Dr. Payne, Principal of Cleveland, and Dr. Ford, Principal of South Atlanta, as well as Ms. Freeman, the STEM Specialist at Cleveland, and Ms. Miller and Ms. Pendergrass, the STEM leads at South Atlanta.
National Wildlife Federation Honors Hutchinson
Hutchinson Elementary School received certification from the National Wildlife Federation for having a certified Schoolyard Habitat. We currently have a state of the art Bird Garden funded by the Audubon Bird Society, Greenhouse, and eight garden plots. Our outdoor learning facilities were all a team effort spearheaded by Mr. Moore, Mrs. Johnson and Ms. Zimmerman. Our official Certified Schoolyard Habitat number is: 222680.
Statefarm STEM Kickoff!
Booker T. Washington Statefarm Partners Veronica Woods and Shanita Drake spoke with 9th and 10th grade cohort STEM students about how they will support Washington High schools efforts in the areas of Computer Science, Robotics, and other STEM related competitions as well as internships. They also gave our students a small keepsake to encourage them to stay interested in STEM and to continue to work hard this school year.
STEM Happenings at Usher-Collier Elementary School
The implementation of STEM at Usher-Collier Elementary School has transformed the climate and the culture in positive ways: Increased collaboration among colleagues as well as students, enhanced professional development, and strategic teacher support. We are not where we desire to be, but great things are happening. Weekly students participate in STEM activities in the Tinker (Engineering Lab) and Science Lab. Last year, monthly STEM challenges became the norm and we were supported by short term partnerships and community involvement: Hands on Atlanta, FPSE, Newell, Urban Trees, The Flying Classrooms, Lock-heed Martin, Dr. Heath Elrod, Ms. Melissa Davis, Mr. P. Little, Love Atlanta, and several committed parent.
High Aspirations Foundation at B.E.S.T.
The B.E.S.T. Academy is proud to announce its continuing partnership with H.A.F.I. (High Aspirations Foundation Inc.). The H.A.F.I. Youth Development Academy is a community-focused education program which offers structured leadership training for young men ages 11 - 14. With our partnership, the mission and vision is to assist young men in developing a sense of self-worth and pride. This year’s primary focus is to regularly involve students in community events that improve and sustain our physical environment. During our last session, students presented research concepts related to Rocket Science. Members of H.A.F.I. recorded the presentations and gave real-time constructive feedback.
Sustainability is where it's at!
MA Jones school wide initiative is to conquer hunger through sustainability – why not conquer a little turtle hunger for our pets too. In Ms. Zimmerman's P-2 Primary Stem classes, our students have been busy. This year we hatched new chickens, received 2 box turtles and a Guinea pig. With help of business partners our student got a larger chicken coop, re-purposed the old one for the Guinea pig, and built also built and outside habitat for the turtles in the courtyard. But the students did not stop there, "The animals must eat too" said some students. In conjunction to our school wide initiative grass, lettuce, and flower seeds were planted to provide greens for the turtles and Guinea pigs. If you happen to visit our courtyard be on the lookout for our new chickens, Charli and Tut our turtles and our Guinea pig and see the vegetation growing in their newly built habitats.
Healthy Eating is STEM Too!
J.W. Dobbs students participated in their Garden Build-Out Day sponsored by their partner GCAPP – Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential. Students planted cabbage, lettuce, collards and broccoli with the help of partners. A nutritionist was also on site to give students pointers on making healthy eating choices.
Scott Engages Teachers and Community Partners Through Project-Based Learning
On November 6, 2018, business owners and community stakeholders, were invited to a STEM Partner Breakfast at Scott Elementary to collaborate and brainstorm ideas with teachers on engaging students through Project-Based Learning or PBL. Community partners got an opportunity to observe what our students were like through picture slides while they ate their delicious breakfast the Flying Biscuit. Many of the pictures showed students doing STEM-related activities. Afterwards, they were provided a brief overview of Scott’s demographics and provided a tour of the STEM Suites which included the first ever STEM Smart Lab in the state of Georgia and the Science Lab. Two students who are also STEM Ambassadors, Keylin Perez Amador, 5th grade and Constance Stalling, 4th grade, presented their projects and answered questions regarding circuits and simple machines. They also explained how they took what they learned in their classes and extended it in the STEM Smart Lab. In the science lab, partners got a chance to operate drones.
After the tour, community partners were assigned to a grade level based on their expertise. Because Scott’s theme is “Engineering with an Entrepreneurial Focus, each grade level had an entrepreneur and an engineer or science/technology “expert”. Teachers and community partners were engaged in brainstorming ideas of problems students encounter in society or their community. During the share-outs, many groups could not wait to share their ideas first and most of the community partners were reporters for their groups. As a result, the STEM Partner Breakfast was a success!
Getting STEM/STEAM Ready B.E.S.T. and Douglass at the US Naval Academy
On October 25th-26th, 2018 Thirty-Four students from B.E.S.T. Academy (6-12) and Frederick Douglass High School traveled to Annapolis, Maryland to participate in the US Naval Academy STEM Initiative. The purpose of this trip was to expose our students to STEM at the college and career level. Additionally, information was gathered about the Naval Academy’s Summer STEM Program and its emphases on exploring, creating, building, and making things better. Summer STEM Program participants work with students from all over the country as they test their problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration skills. For more information about the program please visit the US Naval Academy website at www.usna.edu. While at the Academy our students were exposed to a plethora of information and experiences that allowed them to test their limits when it came to Decoding and Construction. Additionally, our students had the opportunity to visit the National African American History Museum, The Martin Luther King, Jr. monument and the National Mall. All of this could not have been possible without Mr. Ray Singer and Mr. Anthony Flynn of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta as well as the US Naval Academy representatives.