In the spring of 2013, Los Altos School District with the support of the Los Altos Educational Foundation made a decision to invest in STEM education for all elementary students. We hired a STEM teacher for each of our seven elementary schools and created STEM learning opportunities for all students beginning in Kindergarten. It has been wildly successful! Our STEM teachers are incredibly motivated and dedicated individuals who have helped us create rich experiences for students both inside and outside the structure of the traditional school day. In our first year, our team focused on building out a new computational thinking strand, engineering, and physical science. We are proud of our accomplishments and are equally as excited to continue learning, growing and improving our STEM program.
While we are only in year two, it is very exciting to see that Los Altos School District is a leader at this year's California STEM Symposium. This annual symposium brings together 3,000 teachers, administrators, students, high education representatives, program providers, philanthropic representatives and industry representatives to engage them in STEM education by providing strategies and resources for program implementation. The Symposium is designed to highlight leaders in classroom innovation from across the state. Los Altos School District STEM teachers presented nine different sessions over the two day symposium. Below are the topics/sessions presented by LASD STEM teachers:
- Maker Movement
- Creative Circuits
- STEM in K-5: Bee-bots to Lego We-Do
- Bring Creative Computer Science into STEM for all Students
- Bee Bot Buzz: Computer Science in Kindergarten, First & Second Grade
- Computational Thinking in STEM through Scratch
- Khan Academy Spout Bot: Building a Robot
- Literacy & Engineering
- Teaching in Depth: Implementing Virtual Labs in the Classroom
We are thrilled to have our district acknowledged as a leader in developing STEM education programs as we know providing these new learning experiences enhances our students ability to think critically, problem solve and work collaboratively. Thank you to our parent community for donating to Los Altos Educational Foundation, the LASD STEM program is a direct result from your contributions.
Contributed by Alyssa Gallagher, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Community Partnerships