St. Mary School Chardon has just been named a 2015 Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education and Student Research winner. St. Mary School was chosen, along with only 44 other schools from the state, to earn this high distinction for their work in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. “Both faculty and students have worked diligently to achieve this goal. STEM education has not only enriched the curriculum for our learners, but is preparing them for the future,” said Principal Mary Petelin.
St. Mary School students participate in STEM learning continuously throughout their school year. The lower grades begin to collaborate with local organizations such as the Holden Arboretum and in the upper grades, Science Fair projects and Science Olympiad competitions provide excitement and buzz all year. Rockets blast off in the parking lots and slime can be found in the lab as the students participate and investigate their learning. Science Olympiads and their teacher leader, Amber Yeager, work after school hours to perfect their craft and prepare for upcoming meets.
Each year, Junior High students create entries for Akron’s Global Polymer Academy Rubber Band Design Contest and last year the school received a cash prize for being one of four in the state to have the highest number of entries, including one student finalist. In addition, one St. Mary School eighth grade student’s science fair project moved through all state science levels qualifying her for the Ohio State Science Fair in Columbus. It is clear that STEM is present and alive across the school; if you ask any one of the students involved they will tell you that it’s hard work, but so much fun. Each new accomplishment gets them excited to keep moving forward!
The Ohio Academy of Science initiated this educational partnership program in cooperation with the Office of the Governor and the Technology Division of The Ohio Development Services Agency to recognize schools and teachers who stimulate student scientific and technological research and extend STEM education opportunities beyond traditional classroom activities.
The Academy defines STEM education as: both the mastery and integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for all PK-12 students. It incorporates scientific inquiry and technological design through student-focused, project based curricula to develop skills of communication, teamwork/collaboration, creativity/innovation, critical thinking, and problem solving.
STEM education is education that is focused on preparing students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math disciplines for post high school education as well as innovative careers. It incorporates numerous disciplines, and relies on hands-on approaches to help students learn