STEM for LIFE (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math for Life-Long Initiatives for Future Education)
Project Lead: Russell County Public Schools
Program Focus: The program will focus on science, technology, engineering, mathematics and will include correlated "hands-on" instruction in science and mathematics for middle school students. Dual-enrollment classes offered at the University of Virginia's College at Wise (UVA-Wise) Technology Center in Lebanon will be offered to students in Russell, Dickenson, Tazewell, Scott and Lee counties.
Partners: Russell County Public Schools; Southwest Virginia Community College; The University of Virginia's College at Wise; Virginia Economic Development Program; Bostic, Tucker and Company; Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority; Appalachian Electric Power Company; Southwest Virginia Public Education Consortium; Town of Lebanon.
Partnership Members: Russell County Public Schools; Southwest Virginia Community College; The University of Virginia's College at Wise; Virginia Economic Development Program; Bostic, Tucker and Company; Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority; Appalachian Electric Power Company; Southwest Virginia Public Education Consortium; Town of Lebanon
Lead Entity: Russell County Public Schools
Fiscal Agent: Russell County Public Schools
Dr. Lorraine C. Turner, Superintendent
Russell County Public Schools
STEM for LIFE Governor's Academy
P.O. Box 8
One School Board Drive
Lebanon, Virginia 24266
Number of Students Served: 284 sixth graders in 2008-2009, 284 seventh graders in 2009-2010, 319 eighth graders in 2010-2011, and 425 high school students taking dual enrollment courses from 2008 through 2012.
Career Pathways: Science and Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, Information Support and Services
Academy Goals and Description: Russell County Public Schools, in partnership with business, industry, higher education, and local government, has developed the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Lifelong Initiatives for Education (STEM for LIFE) Governor's Career and Technical Academy. The Academy will provide opportunities for all students in grades six through twelve to learn about STEM careers that are available locally, regionally, and nationally. In addition, the Academy will develop the academic skills and competencies necessary to prepare students for the work force and postsecondary education in STEM fields. The Academy pathways emphasize both academic and hands-on experiences. To gain parental and other local support for the Academy and its goals, career awareness sessions for parents and community members will be held. It is the philosophy of the STEM for LIFE Academy that a team effort is essential to the success of this program and that ongoing communication is key to its sustainability.
It is the intent of the STEM for LIFE Academy founders to expand into the surrounding school divisions and to produce a pipeline through which all students in southwest Virginia school divisions have access to STEM opportunities.
Highlights of the Academy:
- STEM for LIFE will begin in the sixth grade with students enrolling in the Gateway to Technology sequence, the middle school component of Project Lead the Way, which includes courses in Design and Modeling and the Magic of Electrons. Keyboarding classes will also be required for two nine-week periods.
- All seventh-grade students will continue to develop keyboarding skills. They will enroll in the continuation of the Gateway to Technology sequence through courses in Science of Technology, Automation of Robotics, and Flight and Space.
- A summer program for students in grades seven, eight, and nine will afford students the opportunity to study in the STEM areas and work on an original project.
- Through the Kuder career assessment program, each student will be assessed, explore jobs that align with identified areas of interest, and complete a job interview planner.
- A transition plan for students entering high school will be in place for seventh- and eighth-grade students to assist in a successful high school transition.
- All high school students in the Academy will be required to complete a service-learning project in addition to the internship, mentoring or job shadowing experience.
- Parents will receive updates and projections about career preparation and opportunities which are available locally, regionally, and statewide.
- Dual enrollment courses will be offered through Southwest Virginia Community College either with instructors at the high school or through distance learning.
- Extensive professional development for all academic and career and technical education teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators responsible for aspects of the Academy began in the spring of 2008 and will continue throughout the first year of the Academy.