Models | Woodbine High School

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Woodbine, IA
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We love hearing from teachers, students, administrators, community partners; anyone that has had a great experience with STEM Innovator.  See examples on the home page.
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Teachers at Woodbine High School have completely revamped their course offerings and school curriculum to focus on STEM education. Woodbine faculty have worked with school administrators to maximize STEM aspects in all classes, and implement more rigorous graduate requirements for STEM coursework.
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Woodbine has infused their current math, science, and technology classes with more hands-on, real-world experiences and teaching. Each member of their team identified ways in which they could teach skills and concepts of inquiry, technology, entrepreneurship, and/or 21st century skills into their existing classes. Currently in math, they are pursuing changing the graduation requirements to include 4 years of math and a minimum of Algebra II. In 21st Century Skills and technology class, they are pursuing the implementation of an in-school bank. The science department has taught a unit on repurposing that included components of engineering. They are currently introducing a unit on STEM careers as well.

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The goals and objectives for Woodbine High School is to prepare students for futures in STEM fields by providing opportunities to take courses with rigorous STEM curricula.

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All students at Woodbine High School will be impacted by the school’s STEM initiative.

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Woodbine’s most significant customer discovery comes from discussions between faculty and students.  Teachers have discovered the needs of their students through informal surveys, discussion with parents and regular meetings as a STEM team. They have spoken with the school administration about processes and expectations currently in place. They learned that one of the things students really appreciate and learn from is seeing their teachers learn.  In exploring the student handbook and graduation standards, teachers discovered several loopholes that were a roadblock to their goal of increasing the math rigor.

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Woodbine teacher have successfully implemented an emphasis in STEM education in the following ways:
  • Biology classes are currently exploring advertising, buying, and business practices and their effects on the environment.  They are then applying that knowledge to how our own actions affect the environment.  They also looked at the “green” revolution and how it is effecting business, especially venture capitalism.
  • The school board was excited and gave teachers support to move forward with their ideas and grant opportunities.
  • Earth Science class has produced multiple artifacts through repurposing. Students have been exposed to the concept, its ability to keep items from the landfill, and the idea of evaluating the potential product for its viability.  Some items made include: A full sized carpetball table, 2 fire pits made from dryer drums, a dress from mens’ shirts, several chairs/benches from pallets, a ukulele was turned into a shelf, yard games from plumbing items, other great projects.
  • General Science class has utilized multiple resources from nbclearn.com as well as an emphasis on what our content looks like in terms of careers throughout this first quarter.
  • Teachers have utilized Khan Academy as a resource for finding gaps in student understanding of prerequisite material.  This has cut down the amount of time spent at the beginning of year reviewing material from the previous course.
  • Teachers have utilized Khan Academy in the math department as a means to “catch up” on gaps in previously passed courses.  This has also led into some introductory Programming projects.
  • The School Board has approved a 30-minute presentation during the November 20th Board Meeting to give them a glance into the department’s philosophy. Details will include the push to get 4 years of Math as a graduation requirement including Algebra 2 for all students. And to look into the idea of creating summer options for those students who are interested in STEM fields. This might include student workshops, camps or internships.  Also, we will take a look at the hard numbers (the number of students taking Algebra 1 prior to 9th grade) and how that affects the number of students that end up in Senior-Year AP Calculus.

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