Active Partnering in Fall

At the STEM Partnership School, we are committed to building and sustaining partnerships. We partner with Aurora University, various corporate and nonprofit partners, as well as diverse educational organizations to provide valuable and unique learning experiences for our students, our local school districts, students across the state and students across the country.

University Partnerships

University faculty have led several professional learning opportunities at the STEM Partnership School. Faculty have also collaborated with STEM School teachers to bring engaging experiences for middle school students in the classroom.

Dr. Sebastian Wyman, AU Mathematics, and Dr. Scott Zinzer, AU Mathematics, discussed with STEM School teachers with strategies to use probability to demonstrate how variability in supply chain processes can increase cost. Dr. Julie Adams, AU Biology, provided insights on how to utilize microcosms (small artificial environments) to gather data regarding life science concepts ranging from inheritance patterns to ecosystems. Dr. Aubrey Southall, AU Education, presented on Taking Informed Action. She provided ideas to bring informed decision in classroom and provided elementary reading books that highlighted immigration and diversity.

Dr. Wyman and Dr. Zinzer working with STEM teachers on probability.
Dr. Wyman and Dr. Zinzer working with STEM teachers on probability.
Dr. Aubrey Southall showcasing Informed Action at the STEM School.
Dr. Aubrey Southall showcasing Informed Action at the STEM School.

The STEM School students have had experiential learning opportunities inside and outside classroom. Eight grade STEM School students presented Senator Linda Holmes with the George Peters Community Partnership award at the Founders Convocation for her work on the state legislation that allowed for the establishment of the STEM Partnership School. Dr. Jerry Butters, AU History faculty, visited the 8th grade ELA classroom to have a dialog on constitution. Dr. Alma Rodriguez Estrada, AU Biology faculty, and Ms. Kaleta, 8th grade STEM teacher, coordinated a lab on bacterial genetic transformation for students’ Structures and Functions unit. The students transformed bacteria with pGLO plasmid for the expression of a green fluorescence protein.

Dr. Rodriguez Estrada and Ms. Kaleta collaborating with 8th grade students in lab.
Dr. Rodriguez Estrada and Ms. Kaleta collaborating with 8th grade students in lab.
Dr. Butters discussing constitution to 8th grade students.
Dr. Butters discussing constitution to 8th grade students.
STEM School students honoring Linda Holmes, Illinois State Senator, at 2019 Founders Convocation.
STEM School students honoring Linda Holmes, Illinois State Senator, at 2019 Founders Convocation.

Corporate and Nonprofit Partnerships

The Conservation Foundation

The Conservation Foundation (TCF) has provided great support to STEM Partnership School students across the grades so far this year. They worked with 5th grade students to understand the meaning of conservation as part of their Mighty Acorns program. Students were provided with lab experiences and then given the opportunity to use what they learned at one of the Forest Preserves in the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.

5th graders work on a lab as part of the Mighty Acorns program.
5th graders work on a lab as part of the Mighty Acorns program.

In mid-October, STEM Partnership School teachers had the opportunity to visit The Conservation Foundation headquarters in Naperville. They learned about the wide variety of projects in which TCF is involved.

STEM Partnership School teachers tour The Conservation Foundation.
STEM Partnership School teachers tour The Conservation Foundation.

A representative from The Conservation Foundation discussed organic farming practices with 8th grade students who are reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma in English language arts. This book investigates how the choices about what we eat can affect our health and, ultimately, our specie’s survival.

8th grade students learn about the benefits of organic farming.
8th grade students learn about the benefits of organic farming.

Friends of the Fox River

7th grade STEM Partnership School students had the opportunity to work with the Friends of the Fox River. They used different data gathering techniques to determine the health of the Fox River in Oswego. Due to the rainy fall, students gathered data from a creek that feeds into the river.

STEM 7th graders learning how to measure the speed of the creek’s current.
STEM 7th graders learning how to measure the speed of the creek’s current.

Waste Management

Waste Management invited our 6th grade students to learn more about a unique ecosystem on a visit to their Wilmington Landfill. Students were able to examine how Waste Management and Caterpillar have a symbiotic relationship.

6th grade students learn about the biological processes that take place in a landfill.
6th grade students learn about the biological processes that take place in a landfill.

DuPage Children’s Museum

DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM) brought their Simple Machines Learning Lab to the STEM Partnership School. Our elementary students had the opportunity to work with wheels, levers, and pulleys to build and better understand simple machines and how they function.

3rd grade students exploring simple machines.
3rd grade students exploring simple machines.

Fermilab

The architect that works on projects for Fermilab National Laboratory showed 6th grade students how decisions are made before building on Fermilab’s property. The goal is to have the least possible impact on the environment.

6th graders learning how architects use different data to make decisions.
6th graders learning how architects use different data to make decisions.

Cabot Microelectronics

A representative from Cabot Microelectronics talked with 8th grade students regarding careers. They discussed different career paths and how interests can guide career choices.

Steve Grumbine talks to 8th graders about his unique career path.
Steve Grumbine talks to 8th graders about his unique career path.

Professional Learning Partnerships

Earlier this fall, we had the opportunity to learn with colleagues from central Illinois and Texas. We were able to engage in dialogue with partners from Monroe School District 70 and CAST regarding the trajectory of STEM education, innovative technology and resources, and building partnerships in local communities.

Educators from Monroe School District 70
Educators from Monroe School District 70

If you are interested in learning more about partnerships in school, contact us to learn more:
Twitter: @jcdsps
Email: stem@aurora.edu
Request a visit: https://forms.gle/79L2qH9CGWmfttTBA