The students of Debra Morris's Seventh Grade Classes at the Sandwich STEM Academy were inspired by reading Linda Sue Park's book, A Long Walk To Water and will be hosting a Twitter Chat Thu. 6/15 & Fri. 6/16. Click here to find out more. Follow the conversation @Solution_Abroad and use #SAconvention2k17
Newton's News began four years ago with the purpose of informing parents and students about upcoming events and programs at the STEM Academy. I began writing a monthly blog a year before the school opened. It was posted on the district web page as we had not then established the STEM web site. Since then I have written dozens of articles on the outstanding achievements of our students and teachers.
All of the events of the past three years were designed for middle school children. Some were academic in scope while others focused on the school culture and social environment. Important dates and deadlines were covered. STEM oriented events were advertised. And student-centered activities were described.
Newton's News was also a communication vehicle for reaching the numerous volunteers to the STEM Academy. It attracted several scientists, engineers, and artists to call and offer to help the students with their classes and projects. The STEM advisory boards in science and the arts used this blog to attract other experts who joined the committees and assisted with the programs.
In addition to Newton's News we established a strong communication network that included a web site, frequent messages through Alert Now and later Blackboard Connect, a parental email list that was organized by the STEM Parents Group, a Facebook page, and a successful Dessert and Discussion Forum, also sponsored by the parents group.
So now we have come to my final installment of Newton's News and I can honestly say that the STEM Academy has been one of the most rewarding and creative experiences in my four decades of teaching.
There are so many people to thank for the success of the STEM Academy that I won't even try here. But this community of people dedicated to a progressive and innovative educational system is second to none. The first three years of the STEM Academy have been exciting, challenging, inspiring, and amazing. Not only did Sandwich create its first middle school, but it implemented 21st century skills including the widespread use of project based learning and authentic assessments.
Our students are learning the skills to help them succeed as the problem solvers of the future. From the development of the school's core values to the establishment of new middle school traditions, the STEM Academy has attracted the attention of professional educators throughout the region.
My parting thought is simple yet important. The foundation is there to keep building, improving, and maintaining the commitment to excellence. Every one of our students is worth the effort and each of them deserves the best we can offer.
Thank you for letting me be part of this journey.
8th Grade Excursion Week