By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
According to Everett Schools Curriculum Director Janice Gauthier, the Everett High School STEAM Academy, now in its third year, has continued to grow and is attracting attention from grant funders and partners alike, as the program seeks to build on its recent successes.
The STEAM Academy, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, is a new approach toward helping students decide to pursue careers in arts, sciences and math fields and heling them identify real world career opportunities that would be open to them by studying math and science.
According to Gauthier, the program now hosts 80 students in three cohorts (freshman, sophomores and juniors) and has plans to grow to 100 students next year.
Due to a recent Project Lead The Way (PLTW) grant award, the district has been able to provide new levels of professional development for the staff and faculty in the STEAM Academy and also find better ways to implement the program and build toward a senior year capstone project that will tie the students’ high school academic careers to an English Language Arts (ELA) project that can be presented.
In total the district received $140,000 from PTLW and that funding is helping the district align the way it teaches math and sciences throughout the district, establish a district-wide “Engineering Club,” increase STEAM enrollment, expand the PLTW model to K-8 and introduce the Senior Capstone Project.
The program has also established a link to Virtual Job Shadow and built partnerships with MIT, Harvard and Boston University, among others and opened grant opportunities with the Mass Life Sciences Center. The goal is to give students a foundation in engineering, technology and sciences, help them discover real world careers that could interest in them and help them build a resume for colleges.