The STEM approach to education is designed to revolutionize the teaching of subject areas such as mathematics and science by incorporating technology and engineering into the regular curriculum. STEM Education attempts to transform the typical teacher-centered classroom by encouraging a curriculum that is driven by problem-solving, discovery, exploratory learning, and require students to actively engage a situation in order to find its solution. Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum offers different programs that align with Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and 21st Century readiness. Project Lead the Way allows teachers to act as a facilitator, leading students into deeper levels of knowledge through actively engaging in high-level learning as they work on real-world challenges. LEGO Robotics, another Problem Based Learning, hands-on curriculum provides students with the materials and instructions to create and program a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. Food for Learning is a unique program created by KTEC in conjunction with Dr. Prisca Moore, Associate Professor of Education at Carthage College. Students learn about the science of living organisms through hydro- & aquaponics, and gardening.
This video gives a great explanation of how STEM benefits students.
|Project Lead the Way||LEGO Robotics||Food for Learning Program|
KTEC has taught Project Lead the Way (PLTW) from the start. PLTW curriculum connects classroom learning to real world challenges. It is the nation’s leading STEM program. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. Students collaborate to create the best design to solve problems.
“It is all about student engagement. When students are engaged they learn a whole lot more. Before you would have the one smart kid in the group and all the other kids would just sit and watch that kid do all the work. With PLTW, everybody has a stake in it. Everybody wants to try it. Sometimes the kids that we think are the best academically are not necessarily the best hands on students. It brings that different kind of thinking and different skill set to the table.”
~ Sarah McMillian, KTEC 6th – grade Science Teacher & PLTW Master Teacher
KTEC staff is specially trained to guide students through each challenge in conjunction with a rigorous academic curriculum in math and science. KTEC boasts multiple PLTW Master Teachers who help train other teachers in the curriculum.
Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum was one of the few schools in the country chosen to pilot the new PLTW Elementary Program: Launch in the 2013-2014 school year. The Launch program brings the benefits of PLTW to students in kindergarten through 5th grade. Sixth through eighth graders will continue with the Project Lead the Way Gateway Program.
“Project Lead the Way takes them through that elementary design process. They have to actually work through the steps. It is problem-based learning. They work as a team. It is amazing, those higher order thinking skills that the kids are using. In one lesson, they had to come up with a compound machine to save and animal stuck in a moat. There were no directions. The kids were completely okay with that. The stuff they came up with was so cool.”
~ Airielle Hodges, KTEC 3rd – grade teacher and PLTW Master Teacher
Learn more about Project Lead the Way and how it supports the KTEC mission:
KTEC students learning through PLTW
|LEGO Education Science and Technology solutions enable young children to behave as young scientists, by providing them with tools and tasks that promote scientific inquiry. Using our solutions, children are encouraged to pose ‘What if …?’ questions. They make predictions, test the behavior of their models, and then record and present their findings.
LEGO Education follows the 4 C’s process – Connect to a story, Construct a model, Contemplate its function, and Continue improving its design.
|KTEC’s Food for Learning program teaches students about composting, the life cycle of plants, hydroponics, aquaponics, and gardening. We collaborate with Carthage College and the students enrolled in their education program for these lessons. Students in all grades participate in different lessons.
Reading Green™: Investigating the Life Cycle and Growth of Flowering Plants: Reading Green™ is fun and effective for teaching life cycles and reading skills-simultaneously. Students grow Fast Plants® to learn their growth requirements and life cycle.
Younger students use Growum Gardens to learn about not only the life cycle of a plant, but also what ingredients go into some of their favorite foods.
Students create an outside garden using the plants they grow in all of the different lessons. These gardens are then harvested and enjoyed by the students, or donated to local shelters.
Food leftovers from our school lunches are composted and used to fertilize the gardens. Students learn about the role worms play in the composting by creating worm houses.