STEM School Design

School DesignAn alarming body of evidence drives the need for immediate systemic change in our nation's education system in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Researchers, academics and professionals alike attest to a shortage of high-quality workers able to compete in STEM fields. Competency in these areas is necessary in order for students in the United States to be nationally and globally competitive. Yet in many public school systems, STEM teaching, learning and student engagement are inadequate. The gap in academic achievement between the United States and other industrialized nations continues to grow. Among college graduates, the United States ranks 29th out of 109 countries in the percentage of 24-year-olds with a math or science degree.1 Forty years ago, the country was a leader in high school graduation rates, and today it ranks 18th out of 24 industrialized nations.

The time to act is now. In order to meet a growing demand and to prepare students for the unique challenges of an increasingly global, knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, we must create a new school design that places math and science more squarely at the center of the educational enterprise. TIES recognizes the urgency of this challenge and is responding with the development, launch, funding and implementation of its newest core business, the STEM School Design Intermediary.

STEM School Design Projects

  • 100Kin10: Answering the Nation's STEM Challenge: TIES will launch the "Lead STEM Practitioner" (LSP) prototype, a model that seeks to recognize the nation's finest STEM teachers as top STEM educators, coaches, and content-experts inside of their schools, their districts, and regions.
  • Baltimore City Public School System: In Maryland’s Baltimore City Public School System TIES provides strategic counsel and technical assistance to STEM initiatives.  
  • PK-8 STEM Schools (6), Cleveland Metropolitan School District: As part of a long-term process to prototype MC² STEM initiatives, TIES is leading the technical assistance and professional development of the six pK-8 STEM schools. The continuation of STEM professional development initiatives for teachers in grades pK-8 will include capstone design; leadership support and development for the 12 LSPs for the six pK-8 STEM schools; and leadership support and professional development for the 6 principals in the six pK-8 STEM schools.
  • Cleveland Metropolitan School District: TIES supports the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) in advancing STEM education throughout pK-12. As a partner in the design and implementation of MC2STEM High School, TIES is leveraging the school's STEM assets and design prototypes for implementation in five pk-8 schools in CMSD. These schools are in their second full year of transition to STEM. The schools emphasize STEM literacy, capstone projects and student presentations. Marc Siciliano is leading the design work for TIES in CMSD and his supporting principals and Lead STEM Practitioners to build capacity and sustainability in STEM education.
  • Decatur County School District: TIES' consultants are working with Decatur County Schools to co-design and implement a STEM Design Blueprint - a research-based, strategic and integrated approach to STEM teaching and learning. The Blueprint serves as a roadmap for the creation, implementation and assessment of STEM strategies at the district and school levels.
  • Lake County Educational Service Center (OH): TIES is supporting the Lake County Education Service Center in northeast Ohio as they move the efforts to transform the Porter Program for Science & Mathematics into a highly effective, innovative and sustainable STEM professional development program. As a piece of the STEM transformation project, TIES is also spearheading the Lake County Lead STEM Practitioner Program, where a selected cohort of 28 teachers are undergoing STEM leadership and Project-Based Learning training.
  • MC2 High School, Cleveland Metropolitan School District: With the vision embedded in the TIES philosophy, MC2 STEM High School has become a national model for STEM education. It embeds each grade level into a different STEM industry partner. Students are engaged by a dynamic, rigorous curriculum and project-based learning environment that prepares them for the 21st century global economy.
  • Oakland Unified School District: TIES consultants will use their expertise and experiences to work with Oakland Unified School District to design and implement a research-based, strategic and integrated approach to STEM teaching and learning through the STEM School Design Blueprint. The Blueprint is a document that is designed to serve as a roadmap for the creation, implementation and assessment of STEM School Design and ultimately the Oakland Unified School District STEM Corridor.
  • National Student STEM Symposium : In 1999, TIES created a format for a conference where teams of students from STEM schools present projects from their yearlong work in STEM. Students who undertake research projects understand the importance of inquiry; they learn to pose relevant questions, formulate hypotheses, test those hypotheses, and offer valid conclusions without settling for pre-ordained answers. The Student STEM Symposium provides an opportunity for STEM students to further refine their communication and presentation skills with a less familiar yet friendly audience.
  • Willoughby-Eastlake City School District:  The Willoughby-Eastlake City School District is undergoing a new design process for a new school!  The School of Innovation (SOI) will be the first platform school in Ohio that instils STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum and instructional practices with a focus on \ Design Focused Learning™. The SOI will begin this process in grade three. TIES, Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, Team have been collaborating with the School of Innovation’s (SOI) faculty, staff, teachers, and parents to be ready for not only the 1st year but the following years to come.   The School of Innovation will welcome its inaugural class of students in grades 3, 4 and 5 in August 2015.  A new grade will be added to the school each year, ultimately becoming a school with grades 3-12.   Enrollment for each grade will be approximately 75 students, with three classes of about 25 students each.   TIES, Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, Team have been working daily with Support Staff, partners, and community, to help make the school a trend for Northeast Ohio.
  • Maryland State Department of Education STEM PD:  TIES is providing 3 phases of professional development (PD) to groups of middle schools teachers in 3 regions in Maryland.  TIES is providing PD through a variety of workshops, with a focus on STEM, and in addition Maryland’s College and Career Ready Standards and Maryland’s STEM Standards of Practice.
  • Siemens:  TIES is a design partner for several school districts in central New York.   With generous support from Siemens, TIES assists districts to identify a vision for STEM education and develop STEM strategies for growth and scale of STEM programming.   To date, TIES has supported East Syracuse Minoa, Vernon Vernona, Holland Patent and Fulton City.
  • Tulsa Public Schools:  TIES is a design partner for Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) and is supporting the district to develop a comprehensive STEM strategy and blueprint to make STEM education accessible to all TPS students in grades pK - 12. 
  • Union Public Schools, Tulsa, Oklahoma:  TIES is in the second phase of work with Union Schools where a stakeholder dialogues and an asset map were created in the initial phase, and now a design blueprint and actions for the district are being finalized and implemented.  The focus of the work is to accelerate STEM programming in the district and to enable connections across the state and region.
International STEM Schools:
  • Cairo, Egypt: STEM School Design Technical Assistance: TIES, in partnership with World Learning, 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education and the Franklin Institute, is providing technical assistance to support science and mathematics model schools for students in Egypt.
Past & Sustaining
  • Northeastern University Center for Professional Studies:Engineering Program Review and Design: TIES conducted a thorough review of Northeastern's Engineering Technology programs to create a comprehensive picture for use in retooling the CPS Engineering Technology Program to meet labor market needs.
  • Tech Valley High School
  • North Carolina New Schools ProjectCreated in 2003 by the Office of the Governor and the Education Cabinet with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and with the direction of Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, NCNSP and school districts and educators have started more than 100 innovative high schools.

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