Middle School adds first dedicated STEM course
Posted on 09/20/2016

A new STEM class that has been added to the Poplar Bluff Middle School curriculum is quickly gaining popularity among students. 

“My daughter came home talking about this. She loves this class,” exclaimed Mary Arnold, the mother of fourth grader Chloe, on the Middle School Facebook page. Trina Weldon of the fifth grade commented: “My favorite class ever.”

The enrichment class—which combines science, technology, engineering and mathematics—was one of the driving forces behind the buildings plan that has added 40,000 square feet to the relocated campus. Taught by Keri Jameson and Cody Young, STEM takes the place of computer lab since Google Chromebook carts are being made available in all classrooms of the upper elementary school. 

“Hands on, minds on,” explained Young, a fifth year teacher. “It’s how kids learn.” 

When Jameson began teaching in 2009—METS—a reversal of the acronym, was the buzzword in education, she recalled. In an effort to prepare the students for a modern-day work environment, Jameson—much like Young—has always tried to apply project-based learning in her classroom lessons. 

Now with a dedicated class, the pair of educators are delighted to be able to introduce tools such as Spheros, iPads, and 3-D scanners and printers, plus Lego and circuit board stations to teach critical thinking. “This is the best job I have ever had,” Jameson stated. “It’s the last teaching job I’ll have.” 

Having focused solely on science in previous years, Young and Jameson spent the summer planning their new interdisciplinary activities. Just weeks into the school year, they are already inspiring more STEM action throughout the district. 

At Eugene Field, elementary school educators are in the planning stages of converting their vacated art room in the older part of campus into a STEM lab, according to Principal Jennifer Taylor. 

Upon completing over 50 pages of research, Ashley Woolard, a Junior High science teacher, received her certification through the National Institute for STEM Education earlier this month. She too is planning to introduce “whole brain teaching” into her curriculum, she said. 


Cutline: Middle School students participate in the cup challenge, a team building exercise that requires the scientific method, on Thursday, Sept. 15, in STEM class.

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