Dearborn’s McCollough-Unis School is the first traditional public school to earn certification by STEM.org, a group that works to improve students’ literacy in science, technology, engineering and math.
The school celebrated the milestone last week with a presentation by local meteorologist and MIT graduate Andrew Humphrey, The Press & Guide reports. Most of the schools STEM.org has worked with are charter schools, providing curriculum assessments, providing tacher training, organizating field trips and securing speakers, among other things.
McCollough-Unis, located at 7801 Maple St., is a unique school that houses kindergarten through eighth grade students under one roof.
“We wanted to bring more attention to the future,” Principal Heyam Alcodray said of her decision to pursue certification.
Politics often cloud educational decisions, but STEM “is one of those rare areas where not everyone is fighting all the time,” he said.
Students in Michigan and other U.S. states lag woefully behind their peers in global competition in those disciplines, areas where the greatest jobs growth is expected to occur in the years to come.
“We want to really change the environment in schools and get students, parents, and teachers all excited about it,” STEM.org’s Sean Sonneveldt said.
His organization takes an interdisciplinary approach, working to get all teachers – those in STEM subjects as well as English and other disciplines – working on the same goals instead of pulling in different directions.
“We try to get everyone rowing in the same direction, or at least get part of their efforts towards the same goals,” Sonneveldt said.
He cited research that shows students are interested in math and science, but just don’t see them as careers they might pursue because they may in their mind limit the choices in their minds to field like medicine or engineering.
That’s one of the reasons for the assemblies, to introduce them to people like Humphrey.“We really like to bring in people who have exciting careers in STEM,” Sonneveldt said.