How do we learn STEA²M at Snyder ISD?

Snyder STEAM Lab:

Opened June 2018, the Snyder ISD STEAM Lab is a collaborative space with the purpose of developing the skills and mindsets that lead to empowered students, teachers, and community members. Click the link here to learn more about the Lab.

Description of Instructional Practices:

Snyder ISD has invested at a district level in training and implementation of Project Based Learning (PBL). Project Based Learning is a research based instructional strategy rooted in the concept of students constructing their knowledge and understanding while completing an authentic project, problem, or challenge. By utilizing PBL, our desire is to foster in students the ability to think critically, collaborate, innovate, and explain their thinking. These are the skills that will create a foundation of success for our students in the STEA²M Academy, across the district, and after graduation.

Through the STEA²M Lab, we will be pushing mindsets in the areas of Maker Based Instruction and Design Thinking.

Maker Based Instruction: Maker Based Instruction is a learning approach grounded in the understanding that learners (students, teachers, business leaders) are often faced with problems that require us to "make" solutions. Making transcends subject areas, but is a great vehicle for STEAM Learning. See the resources below to learn more.

Design Thinking: In our Project Based Learning Units, we want students to find meaning in the challenges they are finding solutions. With this in mind, we strive to take a human-centered design approach to solving these problems. Design Thinking is making students mindful of the social impact that their solutions can have. This process involves not only discovering and solving problems, but gathering empathy and the ability to collaborate with any and all. See the resources below to learn more.

Co-Curricular Activities:

Students in the Tiger STEA²M Academy will have access to a variety of STEAM relevant co-curricular activities. Through our partnership with ACE, licensed teachers will have access to an array of instructional resources. Some courses and activities currently offered include:

  • UIL Events
  • Maker & Science Fairs
  • Agriculture Research
  • Career-Technical Student Organizations
  • Community Service Projects
  • Texas Association of Minority Engineers (TAME) Club
  • Robotics (Competitive & Non-Competitive)
  • Audio/Visual
  • Gardening, Agriculture Science
  • Computer Science
  • Coding
  • Circuity & Electronics

Internships & Externships:

A requirement for students enrolled in the Tiger STEA²M academy is participation in internships and externships. Through partnerships with our local businesses, we can provide our students with direct applications of the skills learned in school to how those skills are used in a variety of STEA²M focused careers. Internship and externship opportunities include:

Senior Capstone Projects:

Graduating Seniors enrolled in the STEA²M academy will be required to complete a capstone project. This capstone will showcase the skills and knowledge gained by the student throughout their educational experience at Snyder ISD. Below are samples of Senior Capstone Projects.

Student Learning Portfolios:

This year, 2018-2019, our STEA²M are implementing the use of Student Learning Portfolios through Navience. As student work is uploaded, please check back for more information and work samples.

Academic Literacy:

One focus of the Tiger STEA²M Academy is equipping our students with the necessary academic vocabulary, comprehension, and understanding of STEM concepts and their applications in a variety of professions.

Technology is a "language" that our students are expected to be fluent in upon graduation. To help our students grow in their understanding of technology and its applications, our STEA²M Academy teachers demonstrate a strong proficiency in the use of technology. Students are given a variety of opportunities to showcase their understanding of a variety of technology driven tools through assessments, projects, and presentations.

Our teachers also attend a variety of STEAM related professional development opportunities. As our teachers model the mindset of life long learning, they are able to take these innovative instructional strategies back to their classrooms and empower their students. Opportunities for professional development are offered through a variety of highly reputable Universities, Education Resource Centers, and STEM focused Organizations.

Outside of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), our STEA²M Academy students have access to supplemental curriculum including PITSCO lab, robotics, circuit-boards, 3-D Printing/CAD, and Applied Physics. Snyder High School also offers a series of courses in computer science with a focus on coding and computer programming. Snyder ISD has also invested in high yield instructional strategies in the area of reading and writing that will provide our STEA²M students with a solid foundation in reading and writing fluency and comprehension.

Assessment Strategy:

Students will be given performance assessments to evaluate their knowledge and understanding of concepts being taught in class. Throughout their learning, students will be given formative assessments which will allow teachers and students to gauge understanding on a continuous basis. Through these assessments, teachers can then differentiate instruction as needed to meet the needs of all students in the classroom.

The district uses Career Cruising to track all individual graduation plans beginning in Grade 8. Students take a series of interest inventories, learning style assessments, and career preference surveys. Based upon student answers, Career Cruising recommends potential careers, allows students to explore college options required for those careers, and select high school courses that will prepare them for future college and career success.