(August 20, 2012) How can a school district transform itself to create STEM-focused schools? David C. Boggio, who directs career and technology education for a low-wealth high minority school district, tells how he helped his district start this transformation by setting up 12 STEM related clubs. The students have done amazing work and are beginning to see themselves in STEM careers that they once thought were closed to them. Not all the teachers who lead the clubs are math or science experts, but they are seeing how they can support a STEM focus in their work. David says he has found STEM-focused activities to be an intriguing way to engage students. David is interviewed by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D.Send comments to
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* David explains why STEM programs are “an intriguing way to engage students.”
* David recounts his team’s approach to initiating STEM throughout the school district: recruiting teachers from elementary through high school to form 12 STEM-related clubs across an array of academic areas.
* David shares the story of the impact and inspiration one teacher from a STEM club is having on a student.
* David outlines the administrative, emotional, and financial support that STEM instructors are given.
* David counters the perception that low-income and minority students are somehow less capable than their peers of academic success.
* Nilka asks David what attitudes and beliefs teachers need to encourage more minority students to join STEM-focused programs.
* David considers how teachers would respond to a hypothetical grant-funded master’s program for 18 credit hours in their fields of study, a program that would better prepare them to lead STEM-related activities at their schools.
* David names some of the local businesses and organizations that he and the school district are partnering with in the STEM clubs.
* David and Nilka close with some final thoughts on the potential benefits of the STEM programs.
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