MCS faculty attend national STEM conference in Florida

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Posted on Aug 02 2019

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Mount Carmel School staff and faculty met U.S. astronaut Ricky Arnold, third from right, during the 2019 STEM Leadership Alliance Summit. Others in the photo, from left to right, are Bobby Baldazo, MCS acting vice principal; Luz Baldazo, science teacher; Evangeline Villar, middle school science teacher; Eleonor Alejo, middle school science teacher; Filmah Buenaflor, high school computer science and math teacher; and Zyron Castillo, elementary school teacher. (Contributed Photo)

To aid in developing practical, comprehensive, and engaging Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics curricula, Mount Carmel School faculty recently attended the 2019 STEM Leadership Alliance Summit in Orlando, Florida.

The MCS delegation included Bobby Baldazo, MCS acting vice principal; Luz Baldazo, science teacher; Filmah Buenaflor, high school computer science and math teacher; Zyron Castillo, elementary school teacher; Evangeline Villar, middle school science teacher; and Eleonor Alejo, middle school science teacher. 

The 2019 summit was intended to bring together educators from different STEM fields and allow them to learn and speak directly to experts of STEM integration.

The summit was also meant to teach participants how to introduce integrated STEM curricula into their school communities. 

Integrated STEM is a teaching methodology where elements of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are combined to expand the learning opportunities in one subject. This method was also created to help students draw connections between their lessons and real-world problems.

One of Buenaflor’s key takeaways from this summit to make integrated STEM possible was that STEM teachers should work with school administrators to work on a revised curriculum.

Baldazo said that attending the summit was necessary because “we were informed about how to better prepare our students who have shared an interest in STEM-related career paths.”

MCS principal Barbara Merfalen looks forward to the school’s STEM curriculum being enhanced by the summit’s participants. “Now that several of our teachers have been given the tools to introduce an integrated STEM curriculum, we look forward to the actual implementation of their suggestions and recommendations.”

“It is important to us at the school that our teachers continue to adapt to the evolving methods of instruction and can expand in their capacity as professionals and leaders in education,” she added.

At the summit, participants were taught how to incorporate integrated STEM into K-12 curricula. Educators were also given information on how to explore opportunities for in-school and out of school collaboration. Other outcomes included identifying best practices and lessons learned in the development and effectiveness of STEM ecosystems. One of the overall goals of an integrated STEM curriculum is to create a pipeline of students to professionals in STEM-related fields.

The STEM Leadership Alliance is a collaboration of five major STEM organizations: The National Science Teachers Association, National Council of Teachers of Math, International Society for Technology in Education, International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, and American Society for Engineering Education. Individually, these leading STEM organizations advance the work of educators and students across the country. As a collective, they help evaluate current methods of teaching STEM subjects and work to improve those methods for more comprehensive learning strategies.

To learn more about enrolling at MCS for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year, call 234-6184 or visit www.mountcarmelsaipan.com. (PR)

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