S²TEM Centers SC Inspires Teachers to Inspire Students

Inspiration, practical ideas, and effective teaching strategies – these are the tools that the S²TEM Centers SC (Solutions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education) offers to many teachers across our state. S²TEM Centers SC is an innovation partnership managed by South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science. S²TEM Centers SC’s focus is on economic development through improvement in K-12 STEM education. S²TEM Centers, located across the state, supports and guides educators who are preparing today’s students to compete in an economy where STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills are in high demand.

S²TEM Centers SC Specialists provide training, curriculum planning, and coaching to ensure STEM subjects are taught in a way that engages students and fosters learning. In essence, S²TEM training is designed to inspire teachers to inspire their students. And I am happy to report their efforts are bearing fruit.

As an instructional coach at Carolina High School in Greenville, I have had the opportunity to work with S²TEM consultants on a variety of projects and I have witnessed the energy that they bring to the classroom. Carolina High School started working with S²TEM consultants during the 2011-2012 school year. During year one, they provided professional development to science and social studies teachers, giving them the skills and resources to transform their students’ educational experience. This school year, consultants are working with seven more teachers and are developing a book study on the Habits of Mind, focusing on student performance under challenging conditions that demand strategic reasoning, insightfulness, perseverance, creativity, and craftsmanship to resolve a complex problem. This training is empowering our teachers with a variety of strategies to promote learning in their classrooms.

What I have valued most about my relationships with this organization is that they work well with me and understand our school’s professional development plan and mission. I give them our plan for professional development and they sit down with me and plan strategies for implementation. They not only have great ideas, but also work well with our teachers and inspire them to make a difference in their classrooms.

As an instructional coach, it is great to have additional resources to support my teachers. S²TEM consultants provide a wealth of knowledge and many creative ideas. This valuable partnership helps us, at Carolina High School, prepare our students while at the same time promoting Greenville’s long-term economic health.

As the saying goes, “teaching is the profession that makes all others possible” so we thank our friends at S²TEM Centers SC for providing our teachers with this important training.

Debbie Nelson

Debbie Nelson is the president and founder of DNA Creative Communications, a woman-owned public relations and inspirational marketing firm for nonprofit organizations. Under Debbie’s leadership, in 2010 DNA founded Shine the Light Nonprofit Forums, an annual training program for Greenville nonprofits in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greenville County, the United Way of Greenville County, the Hollingsworth Funds, the Jolley Foundation and The Graham Foundation. To support other nonprofits across the state, she also manages professional development for Together SC. As an advocate for the nonprofit community, regularly Debbie shares nonprofit stories in her Shine the Light columns in the Greenville Business Magazine. Debbie is a graduate of Leadership Greenville, Leadership South Carolina and the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Initiative. She has served on the boards of the Greenville Area Development Corporation, the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the United Way of Greenville County and the United Way Association of South Carolina.

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