Leaders in STEAM and February District Podcast

Posted by Adam Spina on 2/4/2020 4:05:00 PM

February District Podcast:

February 2020 District Podcast

The February District Podcast can be listened to here.

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Leaders in STEAM:

When WCS began its K-12 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) initiative four years ago, we had several goals we were looking to achieve. Those objectives included:

  1. Establish/market the District as a progressive and relevant leader in STEAM education
  2. Increase STEAM-related integration opportunities throughout the District
  3. Close the gender gap at our high school regarding enrollment in STEAM-related courses
  4. Add evidence-based educational opportunities for all students at our elementary and secondary buildings

Through the commitment of our staff and the support of the community much has been accomplished. The following are some of the highlights of the initiative thus far:

WHS math and computer science teacher Ray Herek monitors student work in class:

Ray Herek monitors student work during math class at WHS.

  • Creation of the Elementary Campus STEAM Lab, winner of the 2019 MASB/SET SEG Education Excellence Award

Students explore coding in the Elementary STEAM lab:

Students explore coding at the elementary STEAM lab

  • Revitalization of the District Spring Arts Showcase
  • Addition of two Code.org elective classes at WMS

A Williamston Middle School student engages with a coding lesson:

A Williamston Middle School student engages in a coding lesson

  • Initiating the District’s high school and middle school First Robotics Teams

First Robotics Team vehicle under construction in the Robotics Lab at Williamston High School:

First Robotics Team vehicle under construction

  • Constructing the WMS Innovation Labs
  • Designing the WHS Robotics Lab
  • Full alignment to the new Michigan Science Standards, the first area district to do so
  • One of four Districts in Michigan selected to partner with Michigan Virtual University on implementing blended instruction
  • Begin the redesign of classroom spaces to include flexible seating and interactive technologies that remove the traditional “point of instruction” 

These new opportunities were added to a firm STEAM foundation already in place within the District. Examples of long-standing student opportunities include elementary arts integration, Project Lead the Way Design and Modeling at Williamston Middle School, and the Math/Science Academy, InvenTeam, and Innovative Vehicle Design team at Williamston High School. 

More work remains to be done, but the District has made significant progress on its pledge to be a leader in STEAM education. I look forward to sharing more about this initiative in the future.

Scenes from Around the District:

Student artwork on display at the 2020 MSUFCU Art Exhibition:

Student artwork on display at the 2020 MSUFCU Art Exhibition

WCS Track Coach Mitch Lutzke is inducted into the MITCA Hall of Fame:

WCS Track Coach Mitch Lutzke is inducted into the MITCA Hall of Fame:

WCS Board of Education Members are Recognized with Williamston Schools Foundation Hornet Awards:

WCS Board of Education Members are Recognized with Williamston Schools Foundation Hornet Awards