A $50,000 grant from the Boeing Company will allow Canutillo Independent School District’s newest school to start a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program. This program, officially named “Improving Elementary STEM Education Through Inquiry-Based Curriculum,” will train 25 teachers at Reyes Elementary School the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) curriculum developed by the Boston Museum of Science. The teachers will then instruct 500 Reyes students in grades kindergarten through three to design solutions to problems using the engineering design process. The grant is a result of the effort between the staff and faculty of the UTEP College of Education, Canutillo ISD and Reyes Elementary.
“This grant marks the arrival of STEM-related programs within our elementary schools,” said Dr. Pedro Galaviz, Superintendent of Canutillo ISD. “We are now able to instruct our children using industry-standard engineering modules to improve their skills and readiness for the workforce and link those skills to the STEM programs we have already implemented at our high school campuses. We are grateful to everyone involved in making this possibility a reality.”
The overarching goal of the proposed project is to broaden student and teacher participation in STEM by increasing awareness, interest, and competency in engineering design early in the school experience. The objectives to meet this goal are to (1) implement an Engineering is Elementary module in each classroom in grades kindergarten through three at Reyes Elementary School during the 2015-2016 school year, (2) increase the number of students who experience designing a solution to a problem using the engineering design process, and (3) evaluate the project to determine gains in teacher knowledge and student interest in engineering design.
“The vision of Reyes Elementary School of becoming a STEM-focused school is now a reality,” said Dr. Debra Kerney, Principal of Reyes Elementary. “Our teachers are ready to receive the EiE training offered by the Texas Tech University T-STEM Center and implement the STEM modules in our classrooms.”