Three Indiana Schools have each received a free 3D printer in recognition of their excellence in teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM.) The three schools were part of a STEM Certification program designed by the Indiana Department of Education that challenge schools to reach a higher standard teaching these 21st Century skills.
“All these schools took extra time and invested in equipment and training,” said Jeremy Eltz, Assistant Director of College & Career Readiness with the Indiana Department of Education. He continued, “Of the nearly 2000 schools in Indiana, only 21 have been STEM Certified. These three are doing some of the best work with the least in resources. We are very pleased to recognize their efforts.”
Another 25 schools are in the pipeline to pursue STEM certification over the next year. Becoming STEM Certified involves a rigorous process that can take over a year to accomplish and involves engaging the administration, staff faculty, parents and community the school serves. Modifications to classrooms, addition of special curriculum and teacher professional development are key elements of the plans schools must submit to be considered for participation in the program.
“We wanted to focus attention on how important it is for our children to excel at Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in order to be prepared for careers of the future,” says Kim Brand, President of 1st Maker Space, an Indianapolis based manufacturer of 3D Printers and developer of makerspaces in schools. “Many of the jobs these kids will have don’t even exist today. We need to focus on problem solving and critical thinking and that’s exactly what 3D printing and the STEM Certification standards developed by the IDOE can do,” he added.
The three STEM Certified elementary schools were selected from across the state. They were:
Lake Hills Elementary-Michigan City
Principal Connie Bachman
STEM Coordinator Shelley Deutscher
Principal Lisa Roberts
Skiles Test Elementary-Indianapolis
Principal Justin Hunter
STEM Coordinator David Shafer
“I’m sure the entire state joins with us to congratulate these schools for their extra effort in the service of educating every youth,” Brand said.