Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering
Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering is a K-5 Magnet School dedicated to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education. In addition to a solid core curriculum, nationally recognized programs such as the Project Lead the Way Elementary Curriculum provide a seamless transition to the Gateway to Technology and Project Lead the Way programs that currently exist in Anderson School District Five’s middle and high schools. These programs, along with other STEM initiatives, help us prepare our students for the scientific and technological competitiveness of a 21st Century global economy.
The STEM Education focus evolved from our quest to meet the needs of our diverse student population. Our journey began in 2003, when Midway Elementary School opened its doors. An “International Theme School Committee” was formed to analyze existing lessons in the Anderson School District Five Approved Curriculum to identify natural global connections and to research additional programs and initiatives that would enhance the curriculum we now offer. From the research done by this committee and other stakeholders, a school-wide focus on cultural awareness, along with the addition of foreign language instruction, was initiated. After careful analysis of math and science data patterns, school climate surveys, and school leadership team reflections, the committee concluded that a focus on culture was not enough.
Through a joint effort of all stakeholders, the STEM Education focus came to light. Additional research, site visits (McCants, HWEC, Marietta Center of Advanced Academics, North Springs Elementary School, Richmond, Virginia, etc.), collaboration with Gateway to Technology and Project Lead the Way teachers, participation in workshops and symposiums, book studies, conversations with state and national leaders in STEM education, and partnerships with local universities and businesses prompted us to pilot the Engineering by Design program with our Project Challenge students and to implement an after-school STEM program for other students. The impact of STEM Education in these programs, the results of a faculty survey (99% “buy-in”), coupled with the overwhelming support of our PTA, SIC, and other community members inspired us to take this concept school-wide.
We believe that our STEM Education focus fits perfectly into a framework that fosters and encourages interdisciplinary instruction for our students. The integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through problem and inquiry-based learning and a solid core curriculum is resulting in a truly relevant, real-world educational experience for our students – one that should prepare them well for the future occupations they will hold.
It is our desire to prepare students to become global citizens who use problem solving skills and the inquiry process to think divergently. A focus on STEM Education is the means by which we are accomplishing this mission. As the Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering, we are... Investing in today and inventing tomorrow!