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Amanda Gunnell

STEAM Content Specialist

Bachelor of Electrical Engineering

agunnell@vallejo.k12.ca.us 

Click here for Bio

STEAM

STEAM IMPLEMENTATION

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OUR MISSION

Provide all students with rigorous and relevant education through project-based learning.

ABOUT US

In the fall of 2012, based upon a solid body of research which demonstrates STEAM coursework and project-based learning  (PBL) increase academic achievement, VCUSD eliminated math remediation courses and piloted new STEM elective courses in its three urban middle schools (6-8th grade). After replacing remediation with a STEM elective, 8th grade proficiency on the 2013 general math test increased by 5 percentage points district wide, with the largest gains being realized at two of the pilot schools (11% and 26%). Prior to this pilot, these 8th graders would have been enrolled into remediation. Analysis of this 8th grade data suggests that VCUSD’s pilot of STEAM curriculum made a positive impact on student achievement, confirming what research asserts about the outcomes of STEM education for both "high achieving" and "high needs" students,and justifies VCUSD’s commitment to expand this model to include all grades TK-8.

As Vallejo’s STEAM Project expands to all grades in 2014-15,  nearly 15,000 VCUSD students (33% Latino, 30% African-American, 17% Filipino, 9% white, 16% English language learners, 12% students with disabilities, and 65% low-income) will have enhanced access to STEM fields of study and prepare all our students to compete for the 1.5 million STEM job vacancies projected to exist by 2020 (McKinsey Global Institute, 2011). 

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PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN VCUSD AND UC DAVIS C-STEM

VCUSD has partnered with UC Davis to become a C-STEM School!  This means that students who are enrolled in the STEAM-M elective class will participate in C-STEM Day at UC Davis.  The students will be learning a new language: Ch (which is a marriage between C and C++ programming languages).  C-STEM Day is a computer programming/robotics competition hosted by UC Davis.  Teams from various schools compete against each other to complete as many challenging tasks as they can.  Please watch UC Davis' C-STEM Day Commercial below: