Today was a day of celebration for eleven Ohio schools as they earned the nod of approval from the Ohio STEM Committee as official STEM schools.
Designation recognizes a school’s holistic approach to STEM learning as more than just science, technology, engineering and math. These schools showed exceptional proof of engagement across academic disciplines, of empowering students as creative problem-solvers, and of a school-wide commitment to a quality STEM education for all students.
Meet the newest members of the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN):
- Bishop Flaget School (Ross County)
- Boulevard Elementary School (Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools, Cuyahoga County)
- Gesu Catholic School (Cuyahoga County)
- Graham Elementary School (Graham Local Schools, Champaign County)
- Graham Middle School (Graham Local Schools, Champaign County)
- I Promise School (Akron City Schools, Summit County)
- Lander Elementary School (Mayfield Local Schools, Cuyahoga County)
- Orchard STEM School (Cleveland Metro Schools, Cuyahoga County)
- Southdale Elementary School (Kettering City Schools, Montgomery County)
- St. Joseph School (Lorain County)
- STEAMM Academy @ Hartford Middle School (Canton City Schools, Stark County)
Eleven additional schools applied for designation and did not yet receive it.
This designation was formally granted by the Ohio STEM Committee (a group comprised of policymakers, agency directors, and business leaders). OSLN is proud to advise the STEM Committee each year. We also provide coaching to potential designees. OSLN is managed by Battelle, an independent, nonprofit research institute based in Columbus, Ohio.
You can read more about the designation process in the press release from Battelle.
Today’s designation decisions were finalized today in a meeting at the Ohio Department of Education’s headquarters. After welcoming the new schools, Battelle’s David Burns, Heather Sherman, and Dr. Stephanie Johnson delivered the following four recommendations to the committee for consideration:
- Site visits: Modification of the designation process to incorporate a site visit to each school. Access for this visit would be a required element of the application.
- Designation renewal: Based on best practices in other states, designation should move toward a limited time frame, with meaningful requirements for maintaining STEM school status.
- Level the playing field for career technical education on STEM designation: Many high-quality career technical schools have found it difficult to receive recognition for their STEM efforts based on the current implementation of designation. We seek to ensure the designation process allows these schools receive the same rigorous evaluation open to other Ohio schools.
- Create an ‘emerging’ category for designation: Many of the schools that applied for designation showed excellent STEM programming, if not quite to the level of a “STEM school.” These schools should have a way of signalling their intention to participate in the Ohio STEM Learning Network Community.