The combination of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is commonly referred to as S.T.E.M., however at Northside High School and the Advanced Applied S.T.E.M. Academy, it has another meaning. Director, Kari Cobb, focuses on Strategies-That-Engage-Minds, and those strategies are proving very effective at engaging a large number of diverse female students. 31.68% of students are female.
The Academy utilizes Paxton/Patterson STEM Learning Systems. With these technology and engineering programs, students take the driver’s seat and Kari takes on the role of coach, mentor, and facilitator. “You can see a difference in these students,” She explains. “They come in asking questions like How do I solve this? What do you want me to do? What’s the answer? Then after about a week or so of work in the labs, they stop asking and start doing and discovering. We want them to work in teams to find the best solution versus the right answer. Not all of the solutions work right away, but these students have grit. They persevere through challenges that many didn’t believe they would be able to overcome when they first started the class. That's engaging! I believe it is the reason we get such great participation from a wide range of students.”