STEMposium explores collaborations

Posted on February 08, 2012 by Laurey Stryker, Ed.D., Digital Access for All Initiative Manager

By Myriam Springuel, Executive Director of Science and Environment Council of Sarasota County

We are looking forward to the STEMposium, bringing together teachers, administrators, and area organizations working in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This Thursday, we will look at ways to enhance 6th through 12th grade learning in STEM fields, helping students understand how the abstract concepts found in the curriculum apply in their community.

This is our second STEM Symposium. Last year we learned of the critical role of collaborations between community organizations and classroom for student learning. Many ideas were discussed and we are pleased to report on progress. For instance, participants last year talked about the need for a clearinghouse for all the information about available opportunities. While such a website,, was already in the works, the great ideas generated last year informed the development of the web-based platform.

Last year, we kicked off the STEM Symposium by watching a video of an intriguing partnership on the West Coast. This year, we will spend an hour browsing the poster gallery – showcasing examples of successful collaborations that are taking place right here in Sarasota County – as a result of last year’s STEM Symposium. Various groups of teachers and organizations have worked together to create collaborations that use the expertise of the organization to help students understand specific benchmarks. Once piloted in the classroom and refined by the teachers and the organizations, these explorations will become available to other teachers via the EdExploreSRQ website.

School Superintendent Lori White in her remarks will challenge teachers and organizations to continue the dialogue started last year. The poster gallery will serve as the starting point for roundtable discussions in which teachers and organizations will explore how they can work together this school year. We look forward to additional collaborations being developed.

Great creative potential will be harnessed in the room on Thursday evening – to explore, to discuss, and to understand how teachers and organizations can work together to enhance classroom learning.

The STEMposium is made possible by The Patterson Foundation, The Science and Environment Council of Sarasota County, and Sarasota County Schools, with sponsorships by Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Jones Edmonds, New College of Florida, Sarasota Ford, and ToTEMS Architecture.

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