‘Think outside the box’

CCPS expanding STEM education

Cullman City Primary School STEM teacher Anna Anderson works with students at CCPS to introduce the science, technology, engineering and math concepts to young learners. (Cullman City Schools)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Students at Cullman City Primary School have always gotten some exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), but this year the school is taking young learners even deeper into the concepts with a special curriculum and approach unique at the primary school level.

The school has hired Anna Anderson part time to serve as a specialized STEM teacher, providing bi-weekly classes to all kindergarten and first-grade students in a class solely devoted to STEM opportunities. This will be in addition to the STEM curriculum already in place.

At Cullman City Primary School, Alabama’s digital literacy and computer science, math and science standards will heavily influence the direction of STEM instruction. The goal is to expose even the youngest learners to the basics of abstraction, algorithms, robotics and coding, while teaching them the impact that technology has in everyday life. There will also be opportunities for students to develop problem-solving skills by planning, creating and testing ideas through hands-on learning experiences.
“Mrs. Anderson is also in the process of planning a STEM Day during which students will have the chance to participate in multiple hands-on STEM stations,” Cullman City Primary School Principal Elizabeth Shaddix said. “There will be a variety of stations for classes to visit which include virtual welding, a forklift simulator, an industrial robot, unplugged coding and many more fantastic learning opportunities. We are so excited for our students to learn from this unique experience!”
There are a number of advantages to introducing STEM to students as early as possible. STEM activities foster critical thinking, problem solving, listening, communication and vocabulary development. STEM also provides opportunities for students to acquire social and emotional intelligence and confidence, and it requires them to plan, create, test and adapt. STEM instruction can also provide students with a deeper understanding and application of Alabama’s digital literacy and computer science, math and science standards.

“These skills carry over into every subject area and will follow them throughout their lives,” Shaddix noted. “We hope our students gain the confidence to ‘think outside the box’ while also growing their vocabulary and communication skills, and the best part is that they will likely have a lot of fun in the process!”

If you’re seeking more information on the STEM program at CCPS, or would like to be involved, contact Anna Anderson at aanderson@cullmancats.net.

(Cullman City Schools)