STEM + Computer Science
STEM is the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into an inquiry-based interdisciplinary approach to learning. In STEM, connections are made between the various disciplines and content is learned in context to the topic being studied and not as an isolated curriculum.
In Broward County Public Schools STEM classrooms, students use critical thinking skills and creativity along with their knowledge of science, math, engineering, and technology to solve problems and generate new ideas. STEM classrooms can be part of Science courses, Math courses, Computer Science, many Career and Technical Education courses, and many other curricular areas. STEM is often implemented through extracurricular clubs that afford students opportunities to apply their content knowledge through problem-solving.
The STEM+Computer Science program encompasses the following initiatives: Computer Science (BrowardCODES), Engineering and Robotics, and Environmental Stewardship.
Computer Science - BrowardCODES - Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) continues to be spotlighted by the White House as a national model for expanding access to computer science in schools. Through the District’s #BrowardCODES initiative, BCPS has expanded its connections between K-12 and computer science career pathways in South Florida in partnership with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, South Florida Regional TechGateway, and other local businesses. In 2017/18 more than 50,000 students are positively impacted by computer science offerings at 100
percentof BCPS K-12 schools.
Environmental Stewardship programs are open to all schools at every level (pK - technical colleges).
The P3 Eco-Challenge recognizes and rewards schools, educators, volunteers and students for their environmental stewardship annually. Another key component of Broward Schools environmental initiatives is through edible gardening. Programs integrate growing food into the curriculum through
raisedbed, hydroponics, aquaponics, and controlled environment agriculture at schools throughout the district.
Broward Youth Climate Summit - BCPS middle and high school students attended the inaugural Broward Youth Climate Summit on January 25th, 2019 at the Global Events Center in Fort Lauderdale. The Youth Climate Summit provided a platform for students to advocate for policy change and gives students a voice for promoting environmental sustainability. Students who attended the Summit shared their climate action plans or projects and networked with each other, elected officials and scientists working on sustainability issues.
Food Recovery Program - The Food Recovery Program is a pilot initiative started at Beachside Montessori Village. Through a partnership between Beachside Montessori Village, BCPS Food & Nutrition Services, Kids Can and Broward Outreach, Beachside is piloting a food rescue project to reduce food waste in the school cafeteria, which results in reducing the school’s carbon footprint, while supporting hunger relief in the community. Students are encouraged to donate leftover unopened, uneaten or unpeeled items from their lunch trays that they don’t want to eat. These collected foods are donated to Broward Outreach, which then distributes them to the community.
Engineering and Robotics
SECME-STEM Olympics - SECME STEM Olympiad program in Broward Schools is a strategic alliance to renew and strengthen the professional capacity of K-12 educators, motivate and mentor students, and empower parents so that all students can learn and achieve at higher levels. STEM is a Nationwide initiative which focuses on Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The SECME – STEM Olympiad combines these two philosophies into one event and will focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics principles as well as SECME national competitions. Broward County students compete in mousetrap cars, water bottle rockets, banners, essays, generator build, bionic arms, team challenge and VEX exhibition. Starting in 2017-18, the Broward SECME Bridge competition is affiliated with the Broward MPO/AASHTO National Bridge competition for grades 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12.
VEX Robotics - Through partnerships with Code.org and grants from the National Science Foundation and the REC Foundation for VEX robotics, Broward County Public Schools is providing opportunities for all students in computer science and robotics.
Lisa Milenkovic, Supervisor Dr.
- Sheryl Arriola, M.Ed
- Justin Feller, M.Ed
- Cynthia Griffin
- Erik Leitner
- Rebecca Malones, M.Ed
- Annmargareth Marousky
- Debra "Kelly" Thomas, Ed.S
Why is deliberate attention to STEM important in K-12 education?
Globalization has resulted in the movement of jobs to countries with lower-wage workers. In order to compete globally, the United States must ensure that our students have the skills needed for the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century. Research on job growth
showthat in the next few years 15 of the 20 fastest growing jobs will require substantial math and science preparation. But when compared to other students on international tests of math and science, US students performed 25th in math and 21st in scienceof 30 industrialized nations.
Based on the data, it has become clear that schools that provide a rich environment of challenging courses in math and science, and support student growth in these STEM fields are successful in preparing students for future positions, decisions and coursework
Research shows that students who had research experiences in high school, who undertook an apprenticed mentorship or internship, and whose teachers connected the content across different STEM courses were more likely to complete college in a STEM major than their peers who did not report these experiences. While not all students may be attending colleges or universities, it is understood that STEM-based decisions have become increasingly important as they power our economy and constitute fundamental aspects of our lives as citizens, workers, consumers, and parents.
STEM+CS In the News
Congratulations to all 2019 P3 Eco-Challenge winners! Driftwood Middle School was the overall school winner, and Griffin Elementary was the runner-up. To see all nominees and winners, visit the P3 Eco-Challenge page, scroll down to P3 Links and click the P3 Winners and Nominees (Bios and Programs).
Watch NBC’s Education on 6 as reporter Ari Odzer visited Beachside Montessori Village Pre-K-8 to do a story on the school’s Food Recovery program, which allows students to donate uneaten food and drink items to the homeless instead of throwing them away. Click here to see the story (this link will take you outside of BCPS)