Overview of STEM Programming in Tennessee
STEM Education is designed for students interested in the exciting careers available in the high-demand fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This program of study is uniquely structured to offer students an overview of STEM fields, occupations, and applications in the first year, followed by more specialized study of the scientific inquiry or engineering design process in subsequent years, culminating in a portfolio and internship experience. Upon completion of this program of study, students will be prepared to pursue advanced study in the STEM field of their choice at a variety of postsecondary institutions.
Given the critical nature of much of the work in STEM, job possibilities abound even in times of economic downturn. More scientists, technologists and engineers will be needed to meet environmental regulations and to develop methods of cleaning up existing hazards. A shift in emphasis toward preventing problems rather than controlling those that already exist, as well as increasing public health concerns, also will spur demand for these positions.
Current STEM Course Offerings in Collierville Schools:
HIGH SCHOOL COURSES
New STEM Curriculum: Project Lead the Way
Collierville Schools is excited to announce that all middle school STEM classes will be using a new curriculum, Project Lead the Way, starting this August. The middle school curriculum, called PLTW Gateway, will provide our students with versatile skills by studying and exploring real-world challenges. We have selected six of the ten available modules for teachers to take students on rigorous studies into various STEM disciplines throughout the students’ middle school career. Below are short descriptions of the modules from PLTW:
Design and Modeling: Students discover the design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. Students use tools such as the design process, a dynamic mathematics software, a computer-aided design program, computer simulations, and engineering notebook, and possibly a 3D printer to design, model, and build objects. They are challenged and empowered to use and apply what they’ve learned throughout the unit to design a therapeutic toy for a child who has cerebral palsy, fabricate and test it, and make necessary modifications to optimize the design solution.
Energy and the Environment: Students are challenged to think big toward the future as they explore sustainable solutions to our energy needs and investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the world. They use what they’ve learned to design and model alternative energy sources, as well as evaluate options for reducing energy consumption. Students use tools such as the engineering design process, an engineering notebook, and alternative energy modeling to invent and innovate.
Automation and Robotics: Students trace the history, development, and impact of automation and robotics as they explore mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Using the VEX Robotics platform, students apply what they know to design and program traffic lights, toll booths, robotic arms, and more.
Medical Detectives: Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They use tools such as the engineering design process, an engineering notebook, and electrophoresis to solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.
Science of Technology: Science impacts the technology or yesterday, today, and the future. In this unit, students apply the concepts of physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology to STEM activities and projects. They will use tools such as the engineering design process, an engineering notebook, computer simulations, and prototyping materials to invent and innovate, including making ice cream, creating adhesives, cleaning up an oil spill, using machines to create motion, and discovering the properties and applications of nanomaterials.
Flight and Space: The exciting world of aerospace comes alive through Flight and Space. During this unit, students delve into the history of flight and space, discover the science behind aeronautics, and explore traveling and living in space. Students are then challenged to use the engineering design process, an engineering notebook, computer simulations, and their knowledge to design, build, and test an airfoil.
As a reminder, Honors Math and Honors ELA students are required to complete summer work for Math and English/Language Arts. Click here to access the summer work for math. Click here to access the summer work for ELA.