Steubenville schools awarded national S.T.E.M. award

STEUBENVILLE – The Steubenville City School District was awarded a $10,000 check and the National S.T.E.M. Leadership Award Tuesday during a ceremony at Steubenville High School.

According to National Education Foundation Chairman Appu Kuttan, “The award recognizes Steubenville’s accomplishment of advancing an average student one grade level in a subject in 23 learning hours on the NEF’s CyberLearning Total S.T.E.M. System Solution, including individualized learning using top-rated online courses, teacher training, tech support, learning management system, teacher stipends, student awards and parent training.”

“Steubenville City Schools was the first school district to partner with the NEF to create the S.T.E.M. Academy for our middle school and high school students. Next year we will have the S.T.E.M. Academy available for all of our students in the school district,” explained S.T.E.M. Academy Director Shana D’Aurora.

D’Aurora was hired as the first S.T.E.M. Academy director in April 2014 and said Tuesday, “it was full speed ahead.”

“Earlier this year we partnered with the Charles M. and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation for a $230,000 grant that will help offset the cost of students taking classes at Eastern Gateway Community College or Franciscan University of Steubenville while they are still in high school,” D’Aurora said.

“And starting with our freshman class next year we will offer college courses to our high school students in addition to their high school courses so they can graduate with a high school diploma and two years of college credits,” continued D’Aurora.

“We are also offering a career pathways program to help our students consider different career possibilities. And starting next year we will have a roof garden program to offer students a chance to look at a career in agriculture. I am very excited that we can serve as the model for the S.T.E.M. program in Ohio,” said D’Aurora.

She cited several accomplishments in the first year of the S.T.E.M. Academy, including hosting a Cool Careers in Cyber Security Workshop with representatives from the U.S. Department of Defense.

“We also offer more than 2,500 courses to students, staff, parents and community members in business, IT and desktop Publishing. And next year we plan to implement an advanced career pathway in Innovations in Science and Technology and robotics in grades kindergarten through fourth through LEGO education,” continued D’Aurora.

“The NEF’s S.T.E.M. Solution has been implemented in school districts across the nation by State University of New York in partnership with local universities. Steubenville’s success stands out as a clear example of how to effectively improve student achievement by motivating all the stakeholders-students, teachers, parents and administrators,” Kuttan said.

(Gossett can be contacted at dgossett@heraldstaronline.com.)