Utah Schools Receive Official State STEM Designation

Brittany HancockNews

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Friday approved eight public schools for the Utah STEM School Designation. This is the second group of schools to be selected since the program began last year.

USBE, in partnership with the Utah STEM Action Center, developed the Utah STEM Schools Designation program to better define and standardize the elements that create a comprehensive STEM learning environment for Utah students. The program furthers schools’ opportunities to engage in STEM-related discussions with faculty and community partners and develop strong instruction for students to prepare them for college and careers. The designation also serves as an indicator for members of the public who are looking for quality STEM school experiences in Utah K-12 education.

“We applaud the effort these schools – their teachers, students, parents and community partners – have put into STEM education,” said Dr. Sydnee Dickson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “There are nearly 9 million STEM jobs in the nation now and 93 out of 100 of them pay above-average wages. Utah students who commit themselves to succeeding in STEM in school stand a better chance of economic success.”

The full application and review process occurred during the 2015-16 school year. The eight schools completed comprehensive digital portfolios that demonstrated their excellence in STEM education, including student project-based learning, community partnerships and support for teacher professional learning. Utah stakeholders including current teachers, principals, district leaders and community council members evaluated each portfolio and visited the schools that were awarded gold and platinum levels of school designation. STEM school designations last for five years. Of the eight awardees from this round, one school had reapplied to advance their level from a silver designation to platinum.

“The STEM Action Center is committed to supporting students in their education and career efforts,” said Dr. Tamara Goetz, executive director of the Utah STEM Action Center. “This program helps create an engaging learning environment, in partnership with teachers, principals and a school’s community. It provides students with greater choices and opportunities and helps address the talent needs of Utah’s growing science, engineering and technology companies. We are so grateful for the hard work and commitment of the teachers and administrators and their willingness to work with the STEM Action Center.”

Each school will receive an award at Utah’s STEM Best Practices Conference on June 20.

More information about the STEM School Designation is available on the STEM Action Center website: http://stem.utah.gov/for-educators/stem-schools-designation/.

To learn more about the STEM Schools, visit https://stem.utah.gov/stem-school-awardees/.

STEM School Designations 2016-17:

Platinum STEM School Designation:
Endeavour Elementary (Davis)
Foothill Elementary (Alpine)
New Bridge Elementary (Ogden)

Gold STEM School Designation:
Creekview Elementary (Carbon)
Westridge Elementary (Provo)
Willow Elementary (Tooele)

Silver STEM School Designation:
Utah Virtual Academy (Statewide)

Bronze STEM School Designation:
George Washington Academy (St. George)