Mount Si High School STEM Fest Sees Record Turnout


Principal John Belcher was excited about parent and student turnout for Mount Si High School’s 1st Annual Stem Fest on Monday evening, February 11, 2013, with over 600 people making it to the inaugural event.  Principal Belcher said the PTSA-sponsored event about Mount Si’s STEM initiative had the “best turnout I have seen yet.”

You can watch the Principal Belcher’s 10-minute introductory speech sharing the district’s vision for STEM education here. The speech started the event and according to the SVSD website, was given to a standing-room-only auditorium crowd.

The evening highlighted the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focus and courses coming to Mount Si’s new Freshman campus next year, as well as STEM classes currently available on the main campus.

According to the SVSD website, the night was a chance for attendees to learn about  the district’s “commitment to STEM education to better prepare all SVSD students for 21st Century career and post-secondary education opportunities.”

New courses planned for the Freshman Campus include: Introduction to Engineering Design (curriculum by Project Lead the Way); Fit for Life (PE); The Big History Project; and AP Human Geography.

Dr. Shepard Siegel, from Project Lead the Way (national developer and leader of STEM-based curriculum) was on hand to talk about their course, Introduction to Engineering.

Parent and STEM Fest attendee, Stephanie Hager, said she “really, really likes” the new Project Lead the Way engineering class because the syllabus reminds her of the process they went through at Microsoft development to launch new consumer products from conception to delivery.  She said it was fun because you learn to be an inventor.

Mount Si AP History teachers, Mr. Bopp and Mr. Tomlisson, were also on hand to answer questions about the new Big History Project and AP Human Geography classes they will teach next year.  For more information on those new courses (including the one that is Bill Gates all-time favorite) read an earlier story on them.

Mr. Bopp answers questions about new 9th grade history classes, The Big History Project and AP Human Geography
Mr. Bopp answers questions about new 9th grade history classes, The Big History Project and AP Human Geography. Both photos courtesy of SVSD website

As part of the evening, high school teachers were also available to answer questions about current classes including Digital Imaging, Video Production, Computer Animation, Web Design and Production, Robotics, Computer Science, Integrated Inquiry Science (IS), Sports Medicine, Health Science careers, Anatomy and Physiology, Environmental Horticulture, AP Environmental Science, AP Statistics, Geometry in Construction, Culinary Arts, and American Sign Language (ASL).

SVSD will also offer a new, accelerated science pathway next year, which provides certain 9th grade students an opportunity to take a fast-tracked, combined Integrated Science 1 & 2 course; then moving to chemistry in 10th grade.  Mount Si Science Department members were available during STEM Fest to answer questions about the accelerated science pathway.

To read about the complete event lineup and highlights visit the Snoqualmie Valley School District’s story on STEM Fest.



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