Back-to-School STEM Challenge

Parent's Toolbox Series#1

The vision for STEM Education in the Paulding County School District is to prepare ALL students to be innovative thinkers by providing active learning environments that include critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication.

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What is STEM Education?

STEM Education engages students in science, technology, engineering, and math in ways that make them college, career, and community ready! STEM immerses students in integrated, real-world problem solving that fosters creativity, inquiry, critical thinking, and collaboration.


  • Science is everywhere in the world around us.
  • Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives.
  • Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of global and local problems.
  • Mathematics is in every occupation and in every activity we do in our lives.

(Source: https://www.engineeringforkids.com/about/news/2016/february/why-is-stem-education-so-important-/)


Let's check out a short video!

STEM Education Overview

Click here to see the video!

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Getting PCSD Students Future Ready

Why do we need STEM?

World Economic Forum: Top 10 Skills of 2025


  • Analytical thinking and innovation
  • Active learning and learning strategies
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Creativity, originality, and initiative
  • Leadership and social influence
  • Technology use, monitoring and control
  • Technology design and programming
  • Resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility
  • Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation



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What does STEM look like in PCSD schools?

Elementary: Laying the foundation

  • STEM Exploratory in Specials
  • STEM Challenges in Classrooms
  • Novel Engineering Challenges
  • STEM Days
  • STEM Family Nights
  • STEM Clubs and Competitions

Middle School: Building the structure

  • Computer Science Connections
  • Engineering and Technology Connections
  • STEM Needs Based Instruction Blocks
  • Novel Engineering Challenges
  • STEM Days and Family Nights
  • STEM Clubs and Competitions
  • Project Based Learning

High School: Getting ready for college, career, and community

  • Project Based Learning
  • Career Themed Academies: PCHS Academy of Science, Research, and Medicine; HHS Academy of Computer Science; Paulding College and Career Academy; SPHS Academy of Engineering and Technology (coming soon)
  • Integrated content areas and career pathways
  • STEM Days and Family Nights
  • STEM Clubs and Competitions

STEM Integration and Certification Efforts

PCSD has several schools working toward Georgia STEM Certification. This is a 3-5 year process. In Paulding, we have a district level STEM continuum that helps guide schools through the process of integrating STEM.

  • PCSD STEM Continuum~ All schools integrating STEM
  • PCHS Academy of Science, Research, and Medicine (Recertification in Spring 2022)
  • Ritch Middle School and McGarity Elementary (Pre-certification visits in Fall 2021)
  • Schools starting the STEM certification process: HHS, SPHS, EPHS, Dobbins Middle School, Shelton Elementary

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Starting STEM Early and How You can help lay the foundation

STEM At Home

Check out the Family STEM 2021 S'more for ideas for Family STEM time! There are even STEM based movies you can watch with activities!!


https://www.smore.com/cdzea-family-stem-2021

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Let's give it a try!

What is Novel Engineering?

What does literacy and the Engineering Design Process have in common? More than you would think! Engineering Design is the cornerstone of STEM. Integrate this with literacy and you have the perfect combination for engagement. This is the premise of Novel Engineering: Use any book you are reading as the basis for engineering design challenges. As your child reads, he/she identifies problems in the story and designs realistic solutions.

Novel Engineering: How It Works

Check out the video below for an example! This is for a different book than we will use tonight, but it will give you an idea about the process.
Novel Engineering: How It Works
Novel Engineering Project Checklist

Click here to access the checklist.

Novel Engineering Rubric and Planning Sheet

Click here to access the rubric and planning sheet.

AFTER THE FALL (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat - Children's Books Read Aloud

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Contact Information

Sarah Graham, K-12 STEM Coordinator

sgraham@paulding.k12.ga.us

Twitter: @SarahGrahamPCSD