STEM to Showcase Innovation in Math & Science Education

Published: February 06, 2012 | Read Time: 3 minutes

Southern Utah University is excited to announce a new partnership with the Iron County School District that will open new doors for local school children when North Elementary pilots Iron County’s first STEM School this fall.

The school will draw upon the talents of experienced educators throughout the district and the energy and fresh perspective from pre-service teachers from SUU to increase its emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by integrating other core subjects, such as the language arts, theater and art, into all science-based curriculum. This new school, officially named “Cedar North Elementary: an SUU Partnership School,” will utilize innovative teaching technologies and creative curriculum to provide an education unlike any other in southern Utah.

To accommodate interested parents and students from across the region, Iron County School District has designated North Elementary as an open enrollment school, beginning in the 2012-13 school year. This means students from other areas of the city beyond North’s traditional boundaries may enroll in STEM freely. This open enrollment period ends February 17, 2012.

To assist parents who may be considering enrolling their children in STEM, SUU and the school district will host an open house on Thursday, February 9, where Iron County School District Superintendent Jim Johnson will be on hand to field questions, as will SUU Education professors and administrators. The informative open house will run from 4–6 p.m. in the Shooting Star Room of the Hunter Conference Center on SUU’s campus.

STEM addresses a pressing need in public as well as higher education for increased interest in science and math. Early, repeated and focused exposure to these fields is critical to pique students’ interest and make them comfortable with what are often considered challenging subjects.

At its heart, according to its mission statement, the STEM Partnership School will be “A learning laboratory and professional development center committed to educational innovation and renewal,” the principal goals being to promote student achievement, engage in collaborative research, provide professional development and growth and encourage family and community collaboration.

To do this, SUU will place pre-service teachers (college students who are studying to become certified teachers) in North Elementary’s classrooms to assist teachers and students. North’s teachers and students will also gain access to SUU professors who are experts in areas such as biology, astronomy, physics, math and chemistry.

According to North Elementary Principal Ray Whittier, “SUU’s significant presence in the school will be very helpful as we work to meet the needs of individual students with an increased adult presence in the classrooms.”

With SUU’s help, North Elementary’s teachers and administrators will remain current on the latest STEM teaching techniques and students will have access to the very latest in math and science curriculum and teaching practices.

In turn, according to Whittier, North Elementary has assembled a team of many of the district’s top educators who “will serve as an excellent resource to SUU professors and students as they observe and contribute to education in a ‘real life setting’.”

For more information about STEM or to enroll your elementary-aged child at North Elementary for the upcoming school year, contact the Iron County School District Office on Royal Hunt Drive.

While open enrollment closes February 17, all students who live within the boundaries of North Elementary will be ensured a place in its classes.

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