Message From K-8 STEM Coordinator
Jackie Kirkendall, M. Ed., K-8 STEM Coordinator

This year marks the 3rd year of our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Initiative here at Levine Academy. 

In 2018, we embarked on a journey to rollout new-to-campus K-8 aligned curriculum, developed at Rice University, focusing on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) has been collaborating with our Judaic Studies department and extended its partnership to encompass STEM offerings. Additional partnerships have contributed to our success: UTD, Frontiers of Flight, The Heard, the Perot Museum, and many others.

In the Lower School, teachers are now incorporating STEM into 40% of the scope and sequence within their yearly curriculum. Kindergarteners enjoy integrating their lessons with STEM on subjects like: Humpty Dumpty, Turkeys, and much more.  First through Fourth grades work on many PBLs (project based learning models) to support the STEM initiative. STEM-based Science curriculum is practiced twice a week during Science time. We are excited to highlight some of our Lower School STEM challenges during our virtual Grandparents and Special Friends Week. 

In conjunction with our robust Middle School STEM Curriculum, students have several STEM electives to choose from, such as: Robotics (beginner and competition teams), Sustainable Agriculture, Hydroponics, Environmental Science, Coding, Biomedical Science, Forensics, Circuits, and Basic Mechanics.     

Inside our renovated Makerspace, (courtesy of the Raphael and Levin families), we have 21st century furniture to allow for more flexible seating as well as 14 new laptops (in both the makerspace and lower school STEM lab) for coding, stop-motion animation, research, etc.  This year we also added three 3D printers along with student friendly software that supports utilizing this new technology with ease - with 16 Arduino coding kits and 8 VEX IQ robots.  Lower School students are able to explore the Makerspace on a weekly basis, and the Middle School Makerspace electives are offered by trimester.

Growth is happening inside Levine Academy. We cannot wait to share more progress with you throughout the school year. Thank you to everyone who has helped contribute to our STEM initiatives and our school's advancement.