In partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is pleased to announce that MVCSC is the first school district in Indiana to be STEM certified in all grades Kindergarten through Grade 12. This confirmation follows IDOE’s announcement that all five MVCSC schools recently received the rigorous STEM certification, making MVCSC the only and first district in the state with this K-12 achievement.
The IDOE recently added several STEM certifications to the list, which increased the total number of schools to 60. This calculates MVCSC as having close to 10% of the certified STEM schools in Indiana.
The IDOE has identified a great need for more rigorous and integrated STEM education, and local industries are echoing the need for a skilled workforce. MVCSC has heard the calls and have challenged our schools to integrate STEM throughout the curriculum. All MVCSC schools have made substantial educational changes that integrate STEM in many areas of study. The following STEM initiatives helped MVCSC receive the district STEM certification:
· Hired two elementary STEM teachers that provide weekly engaging activities with every elementary student
· Hired an 8th Grade Robotics teacher
· Robotics clubs at every school
· Visual STEM posters throughout each building
· Developed a Makerspace in the high school
· High-Tech Academy at the high school
· Fostered community partners to help integrate STEM in the schools
· Hired two technology integration specialists to help support meaningful use of technology within the curriculum
The IDOE states that schools are chosen to receive certification based on their commitment to teaching the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math throughout the entire school. STEM Certified Schools exemplify a highly non-traditional approach to education, employing a great deal of inquiry, project based learning, community engagement, entrepreneurship, student centered classrooms, integration into humanities and related arts, and out of school STEM activities. To become certified, each school went through a rigorous application and review process.
“A quality education begins with amazing educators and excellent material,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction “Materials rooted in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics help prepare our students for a successful life beyond high school. I want to commend these schools for becoming STEM certified. We are grateful for their passion and dedication.”
The Mt. Vernon staff wholeheartedly accepted and supported this initiative. MVCSC is proud to become the first K-12 STEM Certified School District in the state and is thankful to staff for embracing STEM education!