Pink Elementary has officially been recognized as a National STEM Certified Campus by the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE). Pink is one of 25 schools in the country, one of 13 in Texas and the first in Frisco ISD to achieve this recognition.
The process began in September when the campus sat down to ensure all staff had a common vision of STEM education. The staff reflected on campus instructional practices, conducted a needs assessment for understanding about STEM and determined where they were and where they wanted to be in regards to supporting STEM instruction.
Principal Danielle Record knew that reflecting upon current practice would help provide a strong path and campus action plan.
“We looked at assessment practices, teacher development and instruction in the classroom,” Principal Record said. “We wanted to improve upon our technology integration to support the critical learning of students through scientific questioning and discourse.”
Alicia Autry is a campus certification consultant for the National Institute for STEM Education and guided Pink Elementary through the certification process.
“Pink Elementary was already a high-functioning campus. This staff was already amazing so we were able to skip the basic elements and shoot right to high-level STEM instruction including instruction on scientific argumentation and engineering design processes,” Autry said. “This campus has a consistently high-level implementation of quality STEM instruction.”
Principal Record is passionate about STEM learning for all students.
“It is important that we have a school environment where students are learning, thriving and growing while having fun,” Record said. “It’s awesome to have the hard work of the teachers recognized. Pink has a team of teachers who are committed to providing the best and being the best themselves. They are truly inspiring.”
With this certification, Pink has put more “tools” in teacher toolboxes to make sure students are prepared for their future through instruction based on real-world experiences and personalized learning opportunities. The campus will continue to work together to create a sustainment plan to support new teachers and STEM instruction in all classrooms.
“Pink is preparing students for 21st-century learning,” Autry said. “I look forward to seeing the awesome things that are going to come from this campus.”
In conjunction with the campus certification, staff members also worked to obtain individual teacher STEM certifications. These teachers had to demonstrate the three big ideas associated with STEM teaching through a:
Creating an environment for learning
Building scientific understanding
Engaging students in scientific and engineering practices
Congratulations to these Pink staff members who earned their National Certificate for STEM Teaching:
- Natasha Stevenson (Kindergarten)
- Lisa Stokes (First Grade)
- Niki Maly (Second Grade)
- Chelsea Homan (Fifth Grade)
- Tiffaney Stewart (Fifth Grade)
- Danielle Record (Principal)
With guidance from the Pink STEM leadership team, the campus seeks to certify more teachers in the future.
The campus STEM certification was funded through the Frisco Education Foundation and Pink PTA, which strive to support schools and the 21st-century learning for students. Click here to learn more about the NISE and the associated teacher and campus certification process.