Thanks to donor support of the K-5 Elementary STEM program, students across the district are learning 21st century skills that change their outlook on school and life.
At the 30th Annual Spring for Schools Benefit Luncheon, Sherwood Forest Elementary Principal Danelle Edwards showed how her school is leading the way in STEM integration.
"We also teach computer science to students as young as five because, even in the Bellevue School District, there are glaring gender and racial disparities in Advance Placement Computer Science courses. If every Sherwood Forest student views him or her self as a computer scientist, then, by the time they enter high school, this disparity will be eliminated," Danelle told the guests at the luncheon. "Beyond high school, we will have laid the foundation for girls and other under-represented students to have access to greater professional opportunities."
But Danelle says this paradigm doesn't change without intention. "...we have to start at the beginning, and we have to include everyone, particularly those students who are most often marginalized. Our Special Education program, called Pacific is designed to meet the needs of students with significant cognitive disabilities. We believe each of our students, regardless of their circumstances deserve to partake in the full range of educational opportunities."
It also doesn't change without community support. Through your participation in the Foundation, you are:
- supporting curriculum development as well as our teachers’ professional development in computer science and computational thinking.
- funding a computer science advocate at every building to work with other teachers and to model lessons.
- funding the purchase of computer science materials like bee bots, We Do, and Mindstorms—robots that students program.
Thanks to Danelle's leadership, coupled with your generosity, Sherwood Forest is garnering global attention from educators, who travel from as far as the Netherlands to observe her students. Watch Danelle's complete Spring for Schools speech below. Make sure you watch to the end to hear directly from elementary students how your support of K-5 STEM is shaping their future.