Home Carrollton Villa Rica Elementary earns National STEM Certification

Villa Rica Elementary earns National STEM Certification

Villa Rica Elementary School has been named a National STEM Certified Campus by the National Institute for STEM Education making a total of 15 Carroll County Schools campuses with the distinction. 

NISE-certified STEM campuses have implemented 21st-century learning and strategies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics that transform school culture and maximize student achievement. Only 2 percent of schools in the nation are nationally STEM certified.

NISE offers STEM Teaching Certification and supports educators in their efforts to create STEM-based instruction. Five VRES teachers earned individual STEM certification: Stacy Carroll, Idaja Driver, Rae Hudson, Sharon Nist, and Meagan Russell, along with Assistant Principal Beth Little. Upon completion of the required 38 indicators, participants are better equipped to not only academically challenge students but also prepare them for college and career readiness. 

“STEM has been a priority for us in Carroll County since 2018,” Carroll County Schools Superintendent Scott Cowart said. “We emphasize future-focused thinking and skills at all of our schools, because we know STEM concepts are a great way to teach students to be goal oriented and have a growth mindset. STEM practices are a strong foundation to create lifelong learners.”

VRES is one of three Carroll County Schools campuses earning its NISE certification this week. 

Evolving from STEM professional development and curriculum created at Rice University, the National Institute for STEM Education certification process integrates the most recent research and best practices in STEM, 21st-century learning, and professional development. By using a self-paced, mentor-led approach, NISE certifies teachers, campuses, and districts in STEM teaching.

“Providing STEM based instruction to our students through collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking is a priority for Villa Rica Elementary,” VRES Principal Alison Lyle said. “Supplying our K-5 students with premier STEM learning environments is another way that we can honor their talents and prepare them for success at the next level. I am so proud of our teachers for their dedication and proactive approach towards meeting the needs of our future focused learners.”

VRES is also district STEM certified, under a process only a handful of school systems in Georgia utilize. 

VRES’s STEM leadership team composed of Little, Instructional Coach Jenny Wilkie and the five teachers earning National STEM certification worked through a portfolio of campus indicators based on 15 STEM teacher actions, Little said.

“We were able to observe in classrooms, provide professional learning opportunities for our faculty, and create STEM goals for our campus,” Little said. “This opportunity has provided learning for our faculty and staff to integrate innovative practices in our classrooms. Celebrating our achievement in becoming STEM certified marks a significant milestone for our school and community.”

Carroll County Schools is a leader in STEM education. All campuses are STEM certified schools by the district and 17 schools are nationally STEM certified by NISE. Carroll County School System is one of only three districts in Georgia to have a District STEM certification process and the only system in the state with a STEAM certification process.

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