Congratulations to Lakeshore Elementary School for being recognized as a STEM School of Distinction!
Located in Mooresville, NC, Lakeshore is home to about 680 Kindergarten through 5th graders for whom the focus on STEM education is part of every problem they tackle, every assignment they work to complete, and every collaboration they forge with fellow students and teachers.
According to Principal Christopher Grace, the rubric for applying for the School of Distinction honor is extremely strict. The school demonstrated how professional development, implementation with the students, and even building relationships with business and community partners all work toward supporting STEM education not just as a short-term buzzword but as a sustained philosophy for years to come. They demonstrated (both on paper and during site visits) how the curriculum today truly prepares the next generation for a future career and leadership in STEM fields.
The drive toward a STEM-focused model began six years ago when Wake Forest Medical helped the school embrace problem-solving based learning. Parents were on-board from the start and, says Principal Grace, “The best thing about Lakeshore is our staff. No matter what comes their way—and this is true of STEM—they embrace it and go all in.” Students, likewise, took to the new focus quickly and seamlessly. Noted is a 5th grader who struggled his first several years at Lakeshore but once problem-based learning was implemented, he engaged completely in his work and his end of year testing soared. He’s gone on to a successful middle school career and teachers see a bright future for a once struggling student.
Today, while teachers integrate STEM principles into every class and activity, a few STEM programs have taken off in the hearts of students. The Robotics Club is among the favorites, as is the LEGO club that lets kids solve problems and get creative, while building something amazing. Says Principal Grace, “I think they all just love everything they can get their hands on.”
Use this link to learn more about the STEM Schools of Distinction program.