Recently, Governor Tom Wolf highlighted the importance of computer science education during a State Board of Education meeting, urging board members to endorse “Computer Science for All” standards across Pennsylvania. Here at CV, I’m proud to say we already offer our students a wide variety of computer and technology classes and programs at all levels.
CV focuses on ensuring that all of our students learn the STEM skills they will need once they graduate and enter the workforce. CV sees STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as a broad set of skills incorporated into everyday lessons. Instead of simply adding STEM courses as electives or “specials,” our teachers work to develop a cross-disciplinary curriculum that incorporates foundational STEM knowledge with our core classes.
We also make sure our students not only learn about STEM in the classroom, but also see its practical applications. We strive to offer students from elementary school through high school the ability to participate in real-world, hands-on, integrated STEM experiences.
For many of these experiences, we work with outside organizations and community members. For example, our high school students participate in Junior Achievement’s STEM Fair, and sixth-grade students attend BizTown, where they are exposed to jobs that include engineering, science and math skills. Both the middle school and high school host Career Days in the spring, where professionals – including several in STEM fields – speak to students about their careers. Additionally, the North Museum also works with our elementary schools to hold a What in the World Career Fair, where students hear about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) careers.
I also wanted to highlight a local after-school and weekend program for girls also hosted by the North Museum called the STEM Sisters Program. A recent LNP article discussed the program, and one of our CVHS seniors was interviewed. The program is at no-cost to the girls or mentors who wish to join. Led by local undergraduate and professional women in STEM careers, girls can learn about potential STEM career paths, attend weekend events or workshops, and hear why it’s important to have girls learn about careers within the STEM field. To learn more about STEM Sisters, click here.
CV’s focus on STEM skills does not come at the expense of literacy or the arts. Instead, we teach STEM skills alongside the Four C’s of 21st Century Learning (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity), so all of our students are successful no matter what field they go into after graduation.