STEM-focused schools

The state is FULL of conversation about STEM focused programming. Some districts have hired STEM coordinators, some are adopting STEM endorsed diplomas, others are designing STEM Academies.

Any school wondering how to strengthen STEM education should first read the National Research Council’s (short) report Successful K-12 STEM Education.

Below are a few schools that I know of that have, or are working to adopt comprehensive STEM programs at some level.  PLEASE post comments about other STEM programs/conversations around the state.

1. The Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) – MSSM is Maine’s magnet high school. MSSM is a public boarding school that offers an advanced curriculum in science and mathematics to students from throughout Maine and beyond.

2. Maine Academy for Natural Sciences (MeANS) –  MeANS opened in September 2011 as Maine’s first high school to focus on the natural sciences. MeANS includes day students from the local region and boarding students from across the State. MeANS focuses on agriculture, sustainability, forestry, workforce skills training and independent living, offering high school experiences for the active, real-world learner.

3. Baxter Academy for Science and Technology – Baxter will be a rigorous, college-preparatory high school promoting student ownership of learning through curriculum focused specifically on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Baxter Academy students will study complex, real world problems, using and building technological tools in a collaborative environment with scientists, engineers, and other professionals. Baxter will open in the fall of 2013.

4. Falmouth High School – Falmouth High School is offering a high school diploma with a STEM endorsement. To get a Falmouth High School STEM Endorsement, students must take four years each of core science and math courses, such as biology, chemistry, algebra and geometry, plus three related elective courses, such as genetics, forensics, astronomy and engineering. Students in the program also must participate in eight science- or math-related extracurricular activities, or extended learning opportunities.

5. Bangor High School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) academic program – Students who choose to enroll in the BHS STEM Academy complete all the traditional Bangor High School graduation requirements while simultaneously completing a challenging and enriching research-based sequence of STEM courses and experiences. Under this model, the experience of sequential curricula informing and enhancing students’ long-term research is captured by the term TAR STEM: Transformative Apprentice Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

6. South Portland Middle School STEM – Funded by a grant from Texas Instrument (formerly National Semiconductor) the core of the program is a three-week project framed around various themes, such as energy and ecology. The units have a community-based component to help students make connections between real-world problems and the math and sciences that apply to them.

7. Durham Community School (K-8) – Under the leadership of Superintendent Shannon Welsh and Principal Will Pidden, RSU 5 are making Durham Community School a K-8 setting focused on engaged learning and STEM. They are accomplishing this goal through the use of building design, educational  programming, and professional development support for educators.

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