We made it to the last week of the year and I would like to devote this weekly report to a reflection of our second year. I am so grateful and thankful to the faculty for creating many exciting and informative opportunities throughout the school year. The classes were vibrant and energetic in which project based learning has become a way of life in the STEM Academy. Every day students were engaged in authentic and rigorous activities that emphasized problem-solving and collaboration. Many students have told me how much they look forward to their classes. The STEM faculty has done an outstanding job in motivating and inspiring middle school youngsters to think for themselves, to observe and question, and to exercise their creativity in positive and productive ways.
At the risk of forgetting some of the unique projects and experiences in STEM here is a partial list:
The Patriots Place field trip
Cynthia Wygren’s presentation on great white sharks
Opening keynote speaker – Barry Clifford
Washington DC trip
Town Neck Beach trip
Water for Sudan convention
Regional MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV competition
Cape Cod National Seashore trip
Flag football and basketball fund-raisers
Star Wars Night
Student presentations at two STEM conferences
Food and clothing drives
Manomet Center – climate change project
Shellfish Restoration Project
Exploration and Discovery Day
Field trip to the Mass. Maritime Academy – “Follow the Voyage”
Skyping with Linda Sue Park and the Boston Museum of Science
Step Up Day
Dessert and Discussion (for parents)
Clubs in robotics, art, environmental awareness, student council, yearbook, chess, and KTC
And many others!
The halls were alive with the sounds of music, video presentations, robots, art displays, projects in foreign languages, solar cars, and poetry.
The electives in the STEM Academy remain very popular with students and parents as the kids get to study areas of interest as well as practice essential skills. Thank you to all the high school teachers who have devoted their time to helping our students continue their STEM experiences.
And also thank you to all the department chairs who shared their discipline based expertise and participated in many of our faculty meetings this year. You are a welcome addition to the STEM Academy and the faculty benefited from your assistance and support.
Welcome aboard Chip Hill (appointed STEM assistant principal) who has already made connections with STEM families and faculty. We all look forward to your assistance and guidance in the upcoming year.
I am so pleased that Marilyn Russell joined us this year. Every day I am amazed and impressed by her organizational skills and her compassion for students and teachers. She is a true professional.
My thanks to Dr. Ellin Booras who has worked with me on STEM issues every day and who continues to support all the innovative and inclusive ideas from STEM. We could not be successful without her experience and support. She not only welcomed all the staff to Sandwich High School last year, but gave us the freedom to maximize the creative talents on this staff.
Finally my deepest thanks go to our departing superintendent, Dr. Richard Canfield. It was his vision for the STEM Academy that inspired us to make this a stellar middle school. I will always be grateful to Dr. Canfield for giving me this unique opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of students and such an outstanding staff.
I’m already looking forward to next year to continue these programs, to work with our new superintendent Dr. Pamela Gould, and to help focus on improvements in writing, reading, and study skills for our students. Have a wonderful week and a safe and restful summer.