Norwin program aims to develop science, technology, engineering, math, skills
Students as young as kindergartners will have the opportunity to build inquiry-based skills through a new program in the Norwin School District this fall.
The program, called STEM Squires, will challenge students in kindergarten through the fourth grade to complete quests in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields and one related to a STEM-related career.
Students will earn five badges and ultimately earn the title “STEM Squire.”
“We just identified that we wanted to do something in the kindergarten, first and second grades specifically,” Natalie McCracken, assistant superintendent of elementary education, said.
“What we recognize with kids, when they're younger, they're curious and imaginative. They're open to thinking and learning.”
After students completes a quest in one of the areas, they will present their findings to a panel of teachers. Students must be able to explain their project and findings.
For example, to earn the science badge, a student could participate in the school science fair, McCracken said. Interviewing an engineer would earn a student a badge for the STEM-related career quest, she said.
The program is voluntary, but, McCracken said, she anticipates a majority of the district's students in the target grades will participate.
Of the district's 5,265 students, about 2,000 are in kindergarten through fourth grade.
“We want to capitalize the way young people think,” McCracken said. “We want them to solve a problem or test a hypothesis. We don't want STEM to be an initiative; we want STEM to be a way of life.”
The program is the latest push district officials have placed on STEM-focused learning.
Over the summer, officials offered a variety of educational camps to keep students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. One of the camps, “Camp Invention” was specifically targeted at students entering grades one through six.
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.