As part of the Faith Lutheran Church and School Vision and Strategic Planning Program, Faith Lutheran School will become a level 3 STEM school by the 2020-2021 school year. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. A STEM school emphasizes these areas. However, being a STEM school is much more. Being a STEM school is a different way of instruction, incorporating cross-subject projects and collaboration. Here is a great description of STEM from STEM Revolution, "STEM schools are the perfect model for an innovative age. The curriculum puts a special focus on problem-based learning so that the students can instantly apply the knowledge they're gaining. This integrated system is key to long-term memory of the subject matter."
There are 4 levels of STEM with level 4 being a "FULL" integration of STEM. Faith Lutheran School will endeavor to become of level 3 STEM school. In a Level 3 STEM school, STEM-related experiences are integrated into the current curriculum. Becoming a level 3 STEM school will involve teacher training, STEM-friendly curriculum materials, and technology resources.
Our first steps will include adopting a new science curriculum based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for the 2018-2019 school year. A committee of teachers and School Board members are working on this over the summer for approval before the start of the new school year. Teachers and students will use online curriculum resources in meeting the Next Generation Science Standards. Teacher training will also take place throughout this school year, with individual online training as well as whole staff workshops. Our church and school Capital Improvement Program will include new facilities for a tech lab, as well as new library and preschool classrooms. Construction could begin as soon as next spring.
Level 3 STEM accreditation will be completed though Advanc-ED.