Awakening Your STEM School

Awakening Your STEM School


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Awakening Your STEM School by Aaron L. Smith

Dr. Aaron Smith, the director of a pioneering STEM public school, answers the question, “How can educators transform an ordinary STEM site into an inspired, premiere learning center?” “Awakening Your STEM School” provides a proven framework for teachers, administrators, and business partners offering forty-two actions and ideas with over 300 tips to transformation. Dr. Smith’s passionate approach is simple and focused; prepared just for teachers, principals, and business leaders who are daily cobbling together their STEM school, seeking inspiration and valuable suggestions. No matter where a school or program is in the advancement toward STEM education, the catalyst for transformation is already there – residing in the heart of the teachers and leadership.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633930612
Publisher: Koehler Studios, Inc.
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Pages: 230
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dr. Aaron L. Smith has been in education for 18 years, serving middle, high and college students as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, program director and adjunct professor. His experiences as a math teacher launched his journey into leading edge STEM education. He has received the Crystal Star Award from the National Dropout Prevention Center. Denbigh High School - Aviation Academy has been honored several times by the prestigious Society of Manufactured Engineers. The school has received awards from the Virginia Department of Education. The Aviation Academy is listed in the Virginia Living Magazine as a Top 100 Schools in the state. Dr. Smith received the 2014 ING Unsung Hero award. He also had two graduates earn the prestigious Gates Millennial Scholar during his tenure.

Best-selling author Bud Ramey joins Dr. Smith in presenting this transformational information to educators around the world. Ramey has been involved with public education for four decades, having been on the team that helped create and develop Walter Segaloff's visionary An Achievable Dream, a Newport News, VA magnet program for at-risk children that has received international acclaim. He serves as Chairman of the local Children's Literacy Association and is a member of the Langley Air Force Base Civic Leaders Association. Bud Ramey co-authored the best-selling No COLORS, which offers benchmark initiatives from around the world for stopping gangs from taking over our communities, and No BULLIES, a parents' guide to stopping bullies in their tracks. He co-wrote The Familiar Physician, a best-selling book with Dr. Peter Anderson and Tom Emswiller, helping physicians cope with massive changes in the practice of medicine that threaten the extinction of family doctors, a book that is making significant impact on healthcare design internationally.

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Awakening Your STEM School 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
KSimmons More than 1 year ago
Dr. Smith's approach to STEM is simple and inspiring! I enjoyed the book and hope that many schools and businesses in America will unite and utilize some of his strategies so that our students will become "College, Career and Citizen Ready."
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jane Allen Petrick for Readers' Favorite Oh that every teenager in America could attend a school like that described in Awakening Your STEM School: Assuring a Job Ready Workforce by Dr. Aaron L. Smith. Dr. Smith is the director of the Aviation Academy, a charter school in the Newport News, Virginia public school system. Aviation Academy has a partnership with NASA and, thanks to that partnership, students get to assemble flyable RV-12 airplanes from kits. Dozens of area businesses, tech contractors with a nearby air base, offer internships to Aviation Academy students. Aviation Academy faculty boasts its own state-of-the-art wind tunnel. Air Force One routinely lands at the base near the school and can be seen towering over its cafeteria. Aviation Academy is clearly embracing and meeting the need for better STEM programming in American public schools. On first impression, Awakening Your STEM School: Assuring a Job Ready Workforce may fill union badgered, bureaucracy bound, finance blocked public school professionals more with feelings of envy than of emulation. Dr. Smith's statement that, "Every school in America is embracing the need to dramatically improve STEM education. And every business in America needs STEM graduates" might come across as painful hyperbole to some. But the absolute magic of Awakening Your STEM School is that the processes and tools presented here, if embraced and implemented, could improve STEM education in every school in America. Take Chapter 22, for example. In "Envisioning STEM in public schools," Smith addresses head on the challenges of urban high school education. And he knows of what he speaks: Aviation Academy is an ethnically and socio-economically mixed school. The section "Ideas in Action #2 - Focus on the Dropout: The Silent Epidemic" alone is worth the price of the book. In summary, Awakening Your STEM School: Assuring a Job Ready Workforce by Dr. Aaron L. Smith is an executive MBA for educators. With 44 specific action ideas and over 300 tips for success, I was presented with a complete map for planning, organizing, staffing and controlling a vibrant STEM program. Aviation Academy's success can be replicated. I urge you to read Awakening Your STEM School: Assuring a Job Ready Workforce if you want to do just that for your school.
Educatortb More than 1 year ago
Interested in STEM Schools? Read about STEM schools from someone who has already successfully undertaken this adventure. A lot has been written about the benefits of preparing our students to be ready for the challenges of the 21st Century. Today's educators are faced with the rigorous task of teaching our students the skills it will take to ensure they are prepared to compete in a globally competitive workforce. As a retired teacher and administrator of 32 years, and currently chairperson of our local board of education, Dr. Smith takes a complicated process and simplifies it into workable, realistic and manageable chunks. Today's educators do not have the time or the need to undertake such a process without guidance. Fortunately for these educators, Dr. Smith has written about his experiences and challenges in starting a STEM school and shared them with us in his new book. He provides educators with over 40 ideas and actions and more than 300 tips for success. Dr. Smith shares his successes and pitfalls. He also provides numerous websites for classroom resources and grant opportunities. As an educator new to STEM schools or as an educator who is well versed in the subject, I would highly recommend using his book for inspiration and suggestions. Although STEM Schools are by nature not designed as "one size fits all," Awakening Your STEM School would be an excellent resource for anyone interested in preparing their students to be innovative thinkers and problem solvers.
VALibrarian More than 1 year ago
Our school systems are constantly being reminded to prepare our students for the workforce especially in jobs related to science, technology, engineering and math. But how can one go about transforming his or her school to be a STEM school? Dr. Aaron Smith does a fantastic job of laying the foundation to implement such a program. He relays personal experiences, both good and bad, to help teachers and administrators begin or modify their own program initiatives. He stresses heavily that creating a STEM learning environment is a school team effort. Getting teachers, administrators, students and parents on board is not as hard as it may appear especially with Dr. Smith's ideas to garner local business and science community support through viable and sustaining partnerships. Each chapter concludes with ideas in action to keep progress on track. He also includes appendices of valuable resources for lesson planning, technology applications and grant funding resources. Reading this book will definitely inspire and encourage!
APhi1872 More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I could not put down once I began to read it. I really like how easy it is to read as it makes me feel as if I am in the school itself. The stories that he provides his readers provide me with insight on what he has suggested works and can be done at my school too. One particular point that I want to applaud him on is that he does not make the book exclusively for educators. He suggests that parents, businesses partners and community leaders play a vital role in the development of STEM education. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is serious in learning more about how to prepare children and schools for a new era.
TylerRiley43 More than 1 year ago
As an aspiring educator who is going to be a student teacher this fall, I am finding this book to be a wonderful resource. In particular, I love reading the stories that show how STEM education was a game changer for students in his program. It is a must for those going into the teaching profession.
JMTJTC More than 1 year ago
Awakening Your STEM School is a book of ideas, examples, and tools for successfully running a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math education) school. Its main focus is preparing students to work in those fields. I want to tell you all a little background about myself before I review this book. I actually live very close to the STEM school featured in this book in Coastal Virginia. I just recently moved here, but it is already very easy to why a STEM school would perform exceptionally well here. We have Navy bases with tons of Navy ships, plus large jets flying overhead, nearby airports, many science-related museums, crazy underwater tunnels, and an engineer's paradise. We actually moved here because my husband got a job working at an engineering firm. My background is in early childhood education, so I am not an expect in high school STEM, but I do know the importance of actual experiences as a learning process (versus reading textbooks and listening to lectures). So any time a school can provide hands-on experiences, it is sure to be a memorable learning event. I won’t get into the politics regarding magnet schools, but I can see how a school like this would be great for students who maybe didn’t feel like a great student in elementary school. Literacy is the main focus in the early years of education, so students who have more logical and mathematical minds, tend to feel like poorer students. So it is wonderful that a STEM school can give all the practical and logical students skills that are applicable in many high demand careers. Now back to the book itself. There are some personal narratives in this story, which tie everything together, but aren't the strong part of this book. The writing isn’t as remarkable as most books, however, to meet my point from above, this is someone with a math and science mindset, not a reading and writing mindset. So I can’t really discredit the book for that. To read the rest of my review, go here: