Stratford School Highlights STEAM Curriculum During Engineers Week

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Creating Future Engineers is Essential to America’s Success in the
Global Economy.

SARATOGA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Where would the world be without engineers? How do you prepare the next
generation of engineers for 21st century jobs? How do you
prepare American preschool, elementary and middle school students to
compete in the global economy?

These and other questions will be addressed the last week of February at
Stratford School’s 18 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area during
2016 Engineers Week with its 5,000 students. During Engineers Week, the
Stratford student body will spend more than 20,000 hours completing
engineering curriculums and projects.

“Although we’ve seen some improvement in recent years, math and science
test scores of American students still lag behind other countries of the
world,” says Barbara Timm-Brock, COO of Stratford School. “This has a
big impact on our nation’s ability to produce a diverse pool of future
engineers, scientists and leaders. Our STEAM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) curriculum integrates science,
technology, engineering, math and arts earlier and more often. We start
teaching STEAM fundamentals to our preschool students at age 3 and
continue through middle school. This method enables our students to
develop the critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills
that will be required for the jobs of the future.”

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, only 29% of Americans
rated America’s K-12 education in science, technology, engineering and
mathematics as “above average or the best in the world.” In a companion
study, scientists were even more critical. Only 16% of respondents rate
U.S. K-12 STEM education as “the best or above average.” PewResearchCenter.

“Stratford was one of the first schools in the Bay Area to integrate
visual/performing arts and liberal arts into STEM,” says Timm-Brock. “We
did this because it enables students to think more holistically when it
comes to issues facing engineers and scientists in the 21st
century. Our experience shows they score better and that they’re more
creative in their solutions. This is evident in Stratford’s recent top
performance in the Future City competition.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, drawing students to these
fields is crucial to the U.S. and global economy. Documents from the
Department say it is also vital to U.S. global leadership. www.ed.gov/stem.
To help head off the problem, several government programs geared toward
increasing the number of students and teachers proficient in STEM fields
are being put into action.

Recent debate has experts wondering if engineering programs in
kindergarten and at the elementary school levels may be too early. A New
York Times
article found that starting early can have positive
outcomes.

“We believe it’s never too early to introduce these skills so students
can see how they apply in real life,” adds Timm-Brock. “Our STEAM
curriculum always includes the following structure: 1) problem
identification, 2) team collaboration to create design solutions, 3)
solutions testing, 4) refinement of promising solutions, and 5)
continuous evaluation and improvement of the solutions. The last
component helps students see the concepts in real life through
collaboration with leading Silicon Valley engineers and scientists. We
use Engineers Week to punctuate the real life applications and to
introduce students early-on to careers in engineering and science.”

According to Timm-Brock, Stratford School’s focus areas for the 2016
Engineers Week include: celebrating how engineers make a difference,
increasing student knowledge and understanding of the need for
engineers, and spotlighting possible careers. Specific 2016 Engineers
Week activities include: in-school presentations by leading Silicon
Valley engineers, field trips to Silicon Valley’s leading technology
companies, and innovative classroom projects like Future City in which
students construct the city of the future.

Engineers Week runs from February 21-27, 2016. Founded by the National
Society of Professional engineers, the event was created to celebrate
how engineers make a difference in our world, increase public dialogue
about the need for engineers, and to bring engineering to life for kids,
educators, and parents. More information can be found at www.discovere.org.

About Stratford School
Established in 1999, Stratford School
is a leading independent private school founded on the belief that
education is a significant influence in the life of a child. Stratford
offers an accelerated curriculum from preschool through eighth grade
with an emphasis in the areas of STEAM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) that incorporates music, physical
education, foreign language, and social skills development. Stratford’s
goal is to prepare and mentor students for admission to competitive high
schools and colleges. All students are provided the necessary tools to
excel, and are encouraged to participate actively in leadership,
community service, and extracurricular activities. Visit www.stratfordschools.com
for more information.

Contacts

For Stratford School:
Leah Teravskis, 952-224-2939 ext. 19
leaht@axiomcom.com