The STEM program in Cobb Schools has been quietly growing and training students in subjects and careers available in the applied sciences. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (the STEAM program also includes Arts).
STEM helps to cultivate problem-solving and critical thinking engagement within these related fields. Students create, design, build, discover, and collaborate while developing contextual connections between school, community, work, and the global environment.
Dr. Sally Creel has been the STEM Supervisor since 2014. During her tenure, the program has expanded in the number of students and educators involved.
“STEM & STEAM learning is thriving in Cobb,” Dr. Creel said. “We are excited to have certified two new STEAM Certified Schools: Mabry Middle and Dowell Elementary. These schools join the more than 40 STEM/STEAM schools already certified in Cobb.”
Cobb’s STEM/STEAM influence is now statewide, as well. Marquita Jackson, a STEM teacher at Clay-Harmony Leland ES, was recently elected to the Georgia Science Teachers Association Board as the Elementary representative. Walton science teacher Jordan Tidrick was also elected as the High School representative.
Recently, Cobb had a STEM Day with schools participating in various activities. Many schools around the District took the opportunity to have hands-on and educational activities that highlighted the STEM/STEAM program while also showcasing how fun learning can be. For example, Marquita Jackson used STEM Day to teach her students about robotics using Sphero Bots. She turned the hallway at Clay-Harmony Leland into an obstacle course for the students to navigate with their bots.
Eastvalley Elementary had a school-wide STEM day, where every class participated in some STEM activity. The day’s highlight was the Blender Bike, brought in by Cobb’s Food and Nutrition Services. Aside from making delicious smoothies, the Blender Bike teaches how force and motion combine to create the energy that makes the drinks. No electric power required!
At Ford Elementary, Scaly Adventures was invited to the school for an in-house field trip where students learned about reptiles from the famous Curren family. Kids and faculty were delighted and educated about all sorts of slithering and crawling reptiles while also gaining a new appreciation for these often misunderstood animals.
Norton Park Elementary celebrated STEM Day in the lab. The students enjoyed a live stream from the zoo, they learned about lighting and video-game design, and they learned about the many jobs available in STEM with a career presentation from Cox Enterprises. Students even decorated their own STEM Day visor that they wore all day to remind themselves and their classmates about the importance of STEM.
Tapp Middle School held a “Lunch & Learn” with Alefiya Master, CEO of app development company MAD-Learn. Students learned how to create their own apps to help solve problems. They also learned about being an entrepreneur in STEM and how Ms. Master got where she is today in a fulfilling career using creative approaches with technology.
“All the schools went above and beyond to ensure that students had access to STEM/STEAM infused learning opportunities,” said Dr. Creel about the many events happening around Cobb Schools. “Through these programs, teachers are building important and lasting life skills for these students.”