SummerSTEM Day Five: Wrapping it All Up

By Elise Saenger-Heyl

It’s day five of SummerSTEM – hard to believe! Takeaways were numerous when discussed today, and several themes stood out during reflection. The message from businesses during immersion days was a desire for both businesses and schools to form partnerships. This theme aligns with WakeEd’s own Strategic Focus and the Wake County Vision 2020 Strategic Plan.

Businesses want to support our students and are passionate about helping teachers and students. Soft skills were repeatedly addressed by many businesses as a focal point for teachers to develop so  their students are prepared  for the workforce. Teaching these soft – essential – skills, for example taking initiative, is interwoven in Project-Based Learning.

Tying the week together, educators experienced how to use a SCRUM method to teach students to manage their projects. Using this method, emphasis is placed on commitment, focus, respect, openness, and courage. These important soft skills that are reinforced in Project-Based Learning help educators prepare their learners for the 21st century world they are entering. Imagine students graduating from high school already practiced in an industry-standard project management system. They would be an asset to any company who hired them.

We heard a word from one of our participants on passion and purpose and how to cultivate each student’s unique passion in this world.

Reflecting on climbing the “SummerSTEM mountain” educators exchanged  high fives as they reflected on powerful learning about PBL, workforce development and the incredible resources available in this area.

This group of 50 educators is ready to bring this knowledge to their students and we are excited to see what they create!


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