STEM mascot

Parents and Guardians:

Here we go! Spring break is behind us and we are excited to connect back with our STEM students to finish this year strong. Here are some brief updates as we move forward.

Grand Challenges

In 2008 a panel of the greatest minds in the world spent a year analyzing and pondering how best to improve life on earth for this next century. Out of this work 14 Engineering Grand Challenges were defined in four themes essential for humans to flourish – environmental sustainability, health, reducing our vulnerability, and adding joy to life. Since then, universities across the country have adopted Grand Challenge Scholars Programs and created opportunities for undergraduates to pursue passions in these critical areas for humankind.

Starting next year, STEM School Chattanooga will also be adopting these grand challenges into our work. Our school will begin to develop a 9th grade thru 12th grade PBL pathway for students to learn more about an area of personal interest within the construct of the grand challenges. We would still keep our current structure for PBL progression, but would replace one quarter each year with PBL opportunities within the grand challenges.

This change was encouraged and approved by the STEM Curriculum Committee (team of higher ed admin and faculty, as well as HCDE central office staff) in order to allow our students to build knowledge and expertise in areas that matter for humankind this century. To learn more about the grand challenges, here is a link that unpacks the 14 grand challenges:

We are excited to build this into our curriculum moving forward. This endeavor will provide our students with an opportunity to learn more about an area that will impact their lifetime, as well as separate them out from peers as they apply to colleges and universities. Ultimately, we hope to develop the high school model for the grand challenge scholars program!

State Testing Reminder

Reminder, state testing this year will take place in April and May. It is important for students to be present and on time each day during testing so they have the best chance of success in the testing environment set up for that test. This year the test will be 15% of the student’s final grade (except in Biology). Here are the dates for testing so you are able to put them on your calendar now.

--Tuesday, April 16: Biology

--Wednesday, April 17: US History Part 1

--Thursday, April 18: US History Part 2 & 3

--Tuesday, April 23: ELA (English I and English II): Part 1

--Wednesday, April 24: ELA (English I and English II): Part 2

--Thursday, April 25: ELA (English I and English II): Part 3

--Tuesday, April 30: Math (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II): Part 1 & 2

--Wednesday, May 1: Math (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II): Part 3

Upcoming Dates

--Friday, April 19: Spring Holiday (No classes at STEM; Chattanooga State classes are in session)

--Monday, April 22: STEM Parent Leadership Team Meeting (6:30pm) at STEM

--Saturday, April 27: STEM Gala (8pm) at the Grandfalloon

--Friday, May 10: Last Day of School for 12th Grade

--Wednesday and Thursday, May 15 and 16: STEM Jubilee (all day) at Chattanooga State

--Friday, May 17: Last Day of School for 11th Grade

--Friday, May 17: Graduation Practice (9am) at Tivoli Theater

--Saturday, May 18: Graduation (11:30am) at Tivoli Theater

--Thursday, May 23: Half day – Last Day of School for 9th and 10th Grade

--Monday, June 3: First Day of Summer School for 9th and 10th Grade

--Monday, June 10: Report Cards

Thank you for your support!

Dr. Tony Donen


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