Moving the needle on science, technology, engineering and math education takes all of us. Over the past six months, partners participating in our Networked Improvement Community have pooled resources and strategies for advancing K-12 engineering, completing an experiment across contexts. In this post we learn more about how particpant Hillsborough County Public Schools addresses issues of access and equity.
1. In a nutshell, what is the goal of your project?
We aim to increase the access and equity of engineering lessons to all students in our district. Our work has focused on grades 3-8, inviting four-person teams - with one administrator - from select schools to attend STEM Leadership Academies, two day, conference-style events. All attendees receive a 3-D printer, training on how to use the 3-D printer, engineering-based training, and engineering lessons to take home.
*2. What have you been learning? *
Through our pre- and post- survey we learned that the vast majority of teachers know that engineering is an important part of a child’s education, but they do not necessarily have the resources and tools to implement engineering lessons. We’ve also been learning that it takes large doses to create real culture change in schools, which informed why we brought multiple teachers and ensured that an administrator also attended.
3. What’s next?
We have periodic check-ins with our participating schools to gauge implementation and growth, and to see if the growth realized has been sustained. And then, the work continues! We intend to have another STEM Leadership Academy this summer to further train teachers on the tools and resources that exist to implement engineering within their classrooms.