Partnering in a New Decade

University Partnerships

The university continues to provide experiential learning opportunities for STEM Partnership school students in STEM as well as the theatre and arts.

AU’s Gamma Phi Omega club and Ms. Richard’s Junior Service club of elementary students created cards and wrote notes of appreciation to campus safety officers.

Music and theatre students
Music and theatre students of Mark Plummer, AU music faculty, performed selections classical and contemporary opera and musical theatre pieces including the Music Man, A Chorus Line and The Marriage of Figaro.
Theatre and musical theatre students create and perform theatrical adaptations
Stacy Searle-Gulli, AU theatre faculty, had her theatre and musical theatre students create and perform theatrical adaptations from popular children’s books including Shel Silverstein’s work for 3rd and 4th grades.
AU Physical education majors coordinated the Heart Adventure Challenge
AU Physical education majors coordinated the Heart Adventure Challenge for Ms. Parham’s grade 3-8 health unit. STEM School students learned about the importance of physical fitness for heart health and the different functions of the circulatory system.
Dr. Kyle McElhoney, AU chemistry faculty
Dr. Kyle McElhoney, AU chemistry faculty, presented on Mars and discussed ethics of space exploration to 8th grade STEM School students. The eighth graders are studying Mars exploration as part of their Geology and Space unit.
Seventh graders study different body systems
Dr. Chen, AU biology faculty, worked with Ms. Nelson to bring several SynDaver synthetic arm and leg samples for her 7th grade students to explore muscles and ligaments. The seventh graders study different body systems which leads to the design of a prosthetic limb.
Drs. Robert and Lindsey Maxson, AU social work
In a professional learning session, Drs. Robert and Lindsey Maxson, AU social work, discussed Social Emotional Learning strategies such as mindfulness and trauma informed teaching practices to STEM School teachers.

Corporate and Nonprofit Partners

This fall/early winter was a collaboratively busy time at JCDPS. Many partners came in to work with students and share real-world STEM experiences.

The Conservation Foundation collaborated with sixth grade students
The Conservation Foundation collaborated with sixth grade students to recognize native plants and steps that should be taken when designing a garden. We are hoping students will be able to take this new knowledge and design a native plant garden on the property of the Spartan Athletic Park.
Chris Mowrer from Scheck and Siress
Chris Mowrer, from Scheck and Siress, was in our building multiple times. He helped fifth grade students understand composite materials as they were learning about properties of matter.
John Marek from Caterpillar
Chris joined John Marek from Caterpillar to work with seventh grade students as they designed a prosthetic device for an arm while they were exploring body systems.
ComEd’s Dara Randerson
ComEd’s Dara Randerson came and spoke with middle school students about stewardship. She had an opportunity to provide connections our partners share with one another as well. Students were interested to hear that ComEd supplies Brookfield Zoo with tree trimmings for food and recreation sources for animals!
Mark Phipps from the City of Aurora
Mark Phipps from the City of Aurora spoke with 6th grade students about urbanization and water pollution. He highlighted how the city plans ahead to mitigate the impact of new construction and what students can do to help.
Rhonda Merchut and Susan Dahl from Fermilab
Students enjoyed having Rhonda Merchut and Susan Dahl from Fermilab share information about ecology, sustainability, and STEM careers at Fermilab.

District Outreach

The end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 has been an exciting time at the STEM Partnership School. There were visitors from the partner school districts and an opportunity for STEM middle school teachers to participate in a district event.

A group of West Aurora teachers from Fearn and McCleery elementary schools spent time at the STEM Partnership School. These teachers had the opportunity to learn more about the different aspects of the school and also had the opportunity to observe in STEM elementary classrooms. They also received STEM resources that can be used in their district classrooms.

A group of professionals from Batavia Public Schools toured the STEM Partnership School facilities to get a different perspective as they develop their Educational Master Facility Plan.

STEM Partnership School middle school teachers presented at Scullen Middle School
STEM Partnership School middle school teachers presented at Indian Prairie School District’s Scullen Middle School for their STEM Night. STEM teachers shared how students and teachers at the STEM Partnership School innovative technology into the classroom.
STEM Partnership School eighth graders participated in IMSA's Great Water Challenge

STEM Partnership School eighth graders participated in IMSA's Great Water Challenge
A group of four STEM Partnership School eighth graders participated in Illinois Math and Science Academy’s (IMSA) Great Water Challenge. This day-long event, sponsored by NOAA, provided the eighth graders with the opportunity to research a problem related to water quality, marine pollution, invasive species, sustainability, or conservation and develop a solution to address this problem.
STEM alumni students

STEM alumni students
Groups of STEM alumni students from our partner school districts have begun returning to the STEM Partnership School. These students present to the current eighth grade STEM students about the transition from the STEM Partnership School to their different high schools.
Judge Flood and Judge Johnson
Kane County judges, Judge Flood and Judge Johnson, as part of the Worries of the World Wide Web (WoWWW) presented to the STEM Partnership School on the legal ramifications of digital decisions. STEM Partnership School students learned the ins and outs of digital responsibility.

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