2017 Awardees

ProgramOrganizationProgram Contact
Carroll County High School STEM Lab for Agriculture
In 2014, Carroll County made an investment to construct the nation’s first Agricultural STEM lab at Carroll County High School in Hillsville, VA. Carroll County Public Schools also invested in a STEM lab manager to maintain the equipment and to facilitate labs. The STEM lab was built to complement the school’s research farm and the agricultural program at the high school. Carroll County is largely an agricultural community which provides the application for studying science, technology, engineering and math. Students are able to gain experiences that will strengthen their knowledge in all of these areas and advance student job opportunities upon graduation, pursuing a 2 year or 4 year degree or continuing into graduate school. These experiences are making students more competitive for whichever pathway they decide to pursue. The STEM Lab has allowed Carroll County to strengthen course offerings and STEM applications in agriculture and it has become so successful that it also now serves the entire population of students in Carroll County and community members, as well.
Caroll CountyMs. Rachelle Rasco
STEMulating Minds Summer Enrichment
The STEMulating Minds Summer Enrichment is a program designed to enhance student’s science, technology, engineering, and math skills through the use of interactive and engaging STEM exploratory activities. The three-week summer enrichment program was created for rising 9th graders accepted into the Heritage High School Governor’s STEM Academy. The purpose of the program is to promote student achievement and interest in STEM career fields to prepare students for global competitiveness within the STEM industry. The goals of the summer enrichment program are for students to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the skills and knowledge incorporated within STEM
    fields of study;
  • Benefit from specialized, project-based learning which develops critical thinking,
    problem-solving and decision making skills;
  •  Obtain meaningful, real-life, hands-on experiences which attract students to careers in
    STEM; and
  • Receive preparation for STEM career pathways and postsecondary opportunities.
Heritage High School Governor's STEM Academy - Newport News Public SchoolsMs. Chinnell Callwood
Building Capacity for Improving Mathematics Instruction
Dinwiddie County Public Schools' central office staff created a professional development program designed to build capacity among mathematics teachers at the secondary level to improve the quality of mathematics instruction. The program consists of professional development sessions, collegial conversations, professional learning community activities, curriculum development sessions, and lesson study. Professional development focused on Principals to Action, sessions created by the Virginia Department of Education Mathematics Office on Principals to Action, sessions created by the Virginia Department of Education mathematics Office on process standards (5 sessions), worthwhile tasks, mathematics discourse, Concrete to Representation to Abstract learning sequence, and discuss issues, concerns, or problems related to teaching and learning.
Dinwiddie High School - Dinwiddie CountyDr. Kari Weston & Dr. Pamela Aerni
MSiC Algebra Initiative
In order to address performance and interest gaps in mathematics, the MathScience Innovation Center (MSiC) devloped an Algebra Initiative which began with a one-day pilot course for teachers in 2013. This pilot course was well received and led to the development of a two-week, graduate level Algebra Fellows Institute, which has been implemented since the summer of 2014. During the Institute, teachers attend three follow-up sessions in the fall of the year.
MathScience Innovation CenterDr. Hollee Freeman
Makerspaces in Schools
The Makerspaces in Schools project began almost five years ago, in response to the appearance of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The emergence of new technology such as 3D printing and inexpensive, easy to learn/use microcontrollers such as the Arduino board, has added a whole array of new tools for students to use in the design process. One of the primary goals of the project was to provide opportunities for our teacher education students to gain extensive practice in developing and implementing full-integration STEM activities and lessons in an educational makerspace setting, working with elementary and middle-school age students. It has operated continuously since then, each year involving more schools and public educational institutions. And, critically, the makerspaces developed in the various schools and institutions have become self-sustaining.
University of Mary WashingtonDr. George Meadows

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