OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 12, 2012) – Ten Oklahoma elementary schools recently were named K20 STEM–Building STEM-Ready Elementary Schools. The first-time designation comes with grant funds for teacher training at the schools in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The program is sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Education in collaboration with the K20 Center.
“We’ve long recognized the need to focus on strengthening instruction in science, math and other STEM courses as we work to prepare our students for the rigors of college, career and life after high school in this century,” said State Superintendent Janet Barresi. “Building a strong base among younger students in these key subjects will prepare them for more advanced coursework when they enter middle and high school and ultimately prepare them for the future.”
The K20 STEM-Ready School Awardees for 2012-2013 are:
Jeff Downs, Executive Director of STEM for the State Department of Education, said the schools represent a wide array of STEM readiness from those that have never focused on STEM to those that are already advanced in their efforts. Schools were selected based on a number of criteria, including commitment to implementing Oklahoma C3 Standards, which include Common Core State Standards, Commitment to leadership and supportive conditions for implementing and STEM learning
"Congratulations to these schools," Barresi said. "They will become role models for others to follow."
K20 STEM is designed to meet the need of improving K-6 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM] across the state. The overall goal is school improvement that lays the foundation to prepare students for college and STEM careers. The results will be increases in teachers’ STEM content knowledge and increases in use of research-based practices by PK-6 teachers as well as increases in student success in Oklahoma College, Career, and Citizen C3 curriculum, especially science and mathematics.
The State Education Department allotted $300,000 for training and trainer salaries and benefits. Training will be offered to about 200 teachers at the ten schools participating in the first year of the project. The project will impact about 3,750 students in their classrooms and will serve as a model for other schools and classrooms.
State Department of Education math and science directors will work in partnership with K20 Center STEM specialists to train teachers in the ten elementary schools throughout the year.