This month’s Future Ready Spotlight, lands on STEM Educator & #changeagent Perry Lane from Chariton.
By Laura Williams, 21st Century Learning Specialist
“To Inspire and motivate students to pursue careers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math” is the mission statement on Chariton’s Elementary STEM program. A program by which all students will get to take throughout the course of their elementary career. In this time and space, Perry Lane, Chariton’s lead STEM teacher, focuses on creating opportunities for students to engage in their STEM program values: creativity, curiosity, collaboration, and critical thinking.
Upon further investigation, it was clear that Chariton is on the cutting edge of incorporating new technologies to engage students in STEM learning. Much of the funding attained by Chariton for their STEM program goes towards investing in the latest resources and available technology tools. Students may think they are just having fun working with a programmable mouse but really they are learning foundational computer science skills that may help them develop an interest in this ever growing career field. To Perry, “points” aren’t the point of the program, but rather a litmus test for how well the program is doing is how engaged the students are when they come to STEM class.
Many students would tell you that Perry’s class is their favorite because they get to do more hands-on and fun learning! One great example of engagement that goes above and beyond typical course curriculum would be students taking lead on developing the programs google site, found here. Empowering students is what Perry does in this type of classroom. He may have built the parameters and guides students in experiences, but he is agile enough to see value in relevant and authentic learning experiences driven by the students.
Perry hopes to develop skills that will last them beyond their PK-12 experience, and this is critical to start young. He is always on the lookout for the next engaging STEM experience for his students. He really is developing the airplane as he flies it because in the STEM education arena, there are always advancements. His program really is the foundation for supporting future ready learners. For all these reasons and more, thank you Perry Lane for being this month’s Future Ready Spotlight.
Connect with Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or visit their program site at https://sites.google.com/chariton.k12.ia.us/charitonelementarystem/home .
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