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District 833 partnership with University of Minnesota provides new STEM teaching resources

Three teaching teams from South Washington County Schools have published science curriculum units designed to get students thinking like an engineer over a five-year partnership with the University of Minnesota’s STEM Education Center.

The partnership is known as Engr TEAMS and also involves Saint Paul Public Schools, the North Saint Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, Minneapolis Public Schools and the Northeast Metro Intermediate School District. The partnership, which started in 2013, is ending this spring.  

The goal of the program was to increase the learning of math and science concepts for students in grades 4-8 by providing professional development to teachers and guiding them to use an engineering design-based approach to curriculum development. Through the program, multiple curriculum units were developed that will now be shared with schools across Minnesota.

In District 833, more than a dozen teachers of grades 4-8 took part in the program from Bailey, Grey Cloud and Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion elementary schools and Lake, Oltman and Woodbury middle schools. The group grained high-quality professional development as they worked on developing new curriculum units over several summers during the program. The following units were published by District 833 teachers:

Pollutants in the Pond
Sean Duncanson, Grey Cloud Elementary School   
Teresa Stevens, Grey Cloud Elementary School
Drew Hovden, Bailey Elementary School

Got GMOS’s? (Genetically Modified Organisms)
Brian Eberhardt, Lake Middle School
Rob Johnson, Lake Middle School

Flood Rescue Mission
Liz Scheidel, Woodbury Middle School

“Engr TEAMS is the perfect example of a program that is helping students by helping teachers,” said Matthew Dorschner, Director of Teaching and Learning Services. “We are happy to say this partnership with the University of Minnesota’s STEM Education Center has been successful and will help more students learn about science and engineering.”