STEM Curriculum in Broken Arrow Schools

Grants provide educators with tools to integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics into classroom instruction

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Broken Arrow educators are introducing local students at an early age to science, technology, engineering and mathematics with fun, hands-on projects, field trips and demonstrations. These subjects, collectively called "STEM," have been part of the local elementary school curriculum since 2013.

Activities such as building structures out of playing cards and Legos, creating marshmallow towers, paper airplanes, rockets and parachutes or constructing a replica of the Keystone Pipeline help students learn engineering, math and science concepts. In the coming semesters students will participate in even more projects designed to get them excited and interested in STEM.

Twenty-one teachers from Broken Arrow, Jenks and Owasso public school systems attended the 12-day workshop STEM-ulating Teaching!, which was led by professors at the University of Tulsa College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. During the workshop, teachers were able to brainstorm ideas and get feedback from the other participants, and by the end of the workshop, teachers had learned some 70 interactive activities for students that not only emphasize math and science analytical skills but also can be applied across other subject areas.

The workshop was funded by a Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grant worth more than $146,000 and geared toward helping primary and secondary teachers integrate STEM-related content into their classroom instruction. Broken Arrow was the only school district in eastern Oklahoma to receive the grant.

"The grant will greatly contribute to the needs of our teachers and staff, and I certainly appreciate all the instructional specialists have done to support this endeavor," says Dr. Jarod Mendenhall, superintendent for Broken Arrow Public Schools, in a press release.

The MSP grant was not the first STEM grant awarded to the school district. Rhoades Elementary STEM lab instructor Andrea Sagely was awarded a Partners In Education grant for a STEM Imagination Mobile Playground. The playground helps Sagely, who was the district's first elementary school STEM teacher, use life-size building blocks to improve her students’ math skills.

Schools in the Broken Arrow, OK Area:

Early Childhood Education
Arrow Springs Early Childhood Center
Aspen Creek Early Childhood Center
Creekwood Early Childhood Center
Park Lane Early Childhood Center

Broken Arrow Public Schools
Arrowhead Elementary
Aspen Creek Elementary
Country Lane Primary
Country Lane Intermediate
Creekwood Elementary
Highland Park Elementary
Leisure Park Elementary
Liberty Elementary
Lynn Wood Elementary
Oak Crest Elementary
Rhoades Elementary
Spring Creek Elementary
Vandever Elementary
Wolf Creek Elementary
Centennial Middle
Ernest Childers Middle
Clarence G. Oliver, Jr. Middle
Oneta Ridge Middle 
Sequoyah Middle
Freshman Academy
Broken Arrow High School
Broken Arrow Academy

Union Public Schools
Peters Elementary
Rosa Parks Elementary
Moore Elementary
McAuliffe Elementary
Jefferson Elementary
Jarman Elementary
Grove Elementary
Darnaby Elementary
Roy Clark Elementary
Cedar Ridge Elementary
Briarglen Elementary
Beevers Elementary
Andersen Elementary
Union 6th/7th Grade Center
Union Alternative School
Union 8th Grade Center
Union 9th Grade Center
Union High School

Private Schools
All Saints Catholic School
Immanuel Christian Academy
New Covenant Academy
Summit Christian Academy

Higher Education
University of Tulsa
Oklahoma State University - Tulsa
University of Oklahoma - Tulsa
Oral Roberts University
Tulsa Technology Center
Tulsa Community College
Northeastern State University - Broken Arrow

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Teree Caruthers is a communications and content marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience creating engaging content for corporate clients and nonprofit orga... more

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Wed, 02/28/2018 - 21:22