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CMCSS Receives $2.5 million DoDEA Grant for STEM

Please note: This article was originally published on 10/1/2012. Information and/or dates from past events may be not be relevant for the current school year.

The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System will receive a $2.5 million award under the 2012 Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) grant for enhancement of its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.
The grant, to be administered over three years, comes through DoDEA’s Military-Connected Local Educational Agencies for Academic and Support Programs (MCASP) Projects. CMCSS has implemented a STEM focus to insure students exit school with not only grade level skills, but also the ability to reason and solve problems using math, science, and technology. The engineering design process becomes the catalyst by which students take their learning to the highest level of rigor and relevance.
Among the programs the grant will fund is the teacher externship program, which was piloted this summer and embedded high school math and science teachers in local businesses which use science and math as part of their work. By having the experience with local businesses and industries, teachers are able to teachstudents using relevant and practical applications.  Additionally, students will be given more opportunities to visit businesses and industries, which use math and science in real-world applications.
CMCSS STEM is an integration of science, technology, engineering and math. It is not an initiative, but the next level of learning and teaching. Teachers will integrate the existing state science and math curriculum, and use the process to identify natural fits (places where the math and science curriculum already match in the scope and sequence with STEM purposes) and intentional hits (where curriculum standards are manipulated in order to teach STEM concepts) providing students with learning experiences emphasizing design projects, solving problems, and answering challenges.
The grant further will provide funds for extended day learning opportunities in both STEM and reading on higher levels of non-fiction materials in math and science.
The engineering design process is the means by which the students will take their learning to the highest levels of rigor and relevance and analyze, design, create and construct to demonstrate their understanding of the curriculum. Central to the project is an extensive teacher professional development component that will include not only content and instructional skill development, but also externships (on-the-job-experiences) with local industries. Student learning experiences will include extensive classroom problem-based learning projects, opportunities to utilize technology for analysis and investigating cause and effect relationships, afterschool learning opportunities to resolve academic deficits, and internships to develop real world experiences.
CMCSS STEM Coordinator Dale Rudolph will go to Bethesda, Maryland as part of the grantprocess. Accountability Coordinator Dr. Kimi Sucharski wrote the grant for CMCSS.

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