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Everett School District earns Washington State STEM Lighthouse award

Everett Public Schools has earned a 2017 Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s STEM Lighthouse award. The district received a $20,000 grant to mentor other school districts.

From an Everett Pubic Schools news release.

Washington State recognized Everett School District with a $20,000 grant to mentor other school districts.

Everett Public Schools has earned a 2017 Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) STEM Lighthouse award.

OSPI selected Everett Public Schools in part because of the district’s support for teachers (including professional development and summer externships); strong community partnerships; communitywide Innovation Expo; commitment to equitable access to technology; and intentional focus of math, science and other STEM opportunities for all students at all grades.

STEM Lighthouse awards began in 2010 when the state Legislature passed House Bill 2621, which directs OSPI to designate “lighthouse schools.”  According to the bill, the schools will “serve as a resource and examples of how to combine the following best practices:

  1. Small, highly personalized learning communities;
  2. An interdisciplinary curriculum with a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), delivered through a project-based instructional approach; and,
  3. Active partnership with business and the local community to connect learning beyond the classroom.”

As part of the selection process, OSPI delegate Clarence Dancer visited classrooms in the district.

“You truly brought the application to life,” wrote Dancer.

“I was able to get a glimpse of the energy and commitment to STEM education for every student throughout the entire district. This was shown from the conversation with the Superintendent right down to the students themselves. The buy-in around STEM as a way to educate students in all subjects is exactly what we are looking for as a beacon for STEM for the state. Everett is a model in STEM education and will be a strong example for all districts who want to provide a 21st Century education to their students.”

“It’s those 21st Century skills that will help our students to better navigate work and life,” explained Dana Riley Black, Everett Public Schools’ Executive Director of STEM, Partnerships and Legislation.

“By way of our district’s STEM experiences, students benefit from learning how to figure things out together.”

“I am proud of the work we’ve done to provide STEM learning experiences for students in pre-kindergarten through high school,” shared Superintendent Gary Cohn.

“We strategically provide STEM experiences in every school in our district and continue to add extended learning opportunities outside of the regular school day, including robotics and other after-school clubs, to support students’ learning.”

Each elementary and middle school in the district has at least two robotics clubs. High schools offer robotics, coding and after-school clubs aligned with STEM careers, including medical sciences and technology.

Since 2011, 36 schools and six districts have been recognized with a STEM Lighthouse award.

The 2017 recognition includes four schools and two districts. Each school or district awardee receives a $20,000 grant to promote and develop STEM education, including technical assistance and advice for other elementary, middle, high schools, and districts that are developing their own STEM environments.