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Incline Elementary and Incline High School receive STEM School Designation from Nevada Governor’s Office

August 13, 2023 | Kathy Slocum

from ‘LIVE.WORK.PLAY. Summer 2023’

Article from: LIVE.WORK.PLAY. Summer 2023

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation & Technology (OSIT) awarded both Incline Elementary and Incline High School their coveted Nevada Governor’s STEM School Designation. The ceremony took place at the Governor’s Office in Carson City on May 16th, 2023. This seal of approval means that both IES and IHS meet the highest standards of STEM instruction and are models for schools around the state.

Incline Education Fund worked closely with both IES and IHS school staff to apply for the OSIT designation. IEF will apply for the Incline Middle School designation in 2024-5. This would make Incline Village the first and only STEM Designated K-12 school system in the state of Nevada.

The Nevada Governor’s OSIT only recognized 13 schools for the award this year. These are schools that demonstrate exemplary performance in STEM and have comprehensive, school-wide systems in place to support STEM learning. This award acknowledges that these schools implement high-quality, research-based, hands-on instruction. OSIT schools also partner with the community to develop relationships and authentic learning opportunities. Both Incline Elementary and High Schools have proven that they demonstrate these practices.

For the last two years, with the launch of the highly successful, IEF-funded makerspace, Incline Elementary School has focused on providing a high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Trina Kleinhenz, the IES makerspace teacher, coordinates with each of the K-5 teachers to tie the STEM curriculum into their grade-level classwork. This collaboration creates a unique opportunity to engage students in real-world problem solving, creative design, critical thinking and career opportunities through STEMfocused formal and informal education.

Principal John Stern said, “I am extremely proud of all of our teachers and students and this “Developing STEM School Designation” proves the high-quality education that IES provides to the Incline community”.

Incline High School was awarded the “Established STEM School Designation” for their Engineering & Entrepreneurship program and the work they are doing around individualized college and career guidance.

Engineering & Career & Technical Education Teacher

Adam Shoda joined IHS this fall and brought his 20-year experience of instruction and his work with the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum with him. His PLTW classes are managed under a Simulated Workplace classroom management model, which provides students with skills that prepare them for future professions, including leadership roles and how to work as a team to complete real-world tasks.

STEM learning at IHS is not confined to the obvious science, math, engineering, and tech classes. The STEM tenets of problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration are woven throughout a student’s IHS experience. Other examples include the highly successful “We the People” AP US Government & Politics class, the Stormwater Quality Leadership Program, the Culinary Arts program, and the Podcast Studio.

The OSIT award also recognized IHS’s “Learning through Interest/Internship Program” (LTI) led by Deirdre Carney. Ms. Carney is the IHS Internship Coordinator and works directly with students to expose them to a variety of fields, including STEM. Her position is funded by the Duffield Foundation and is implemented through an advisory model that is focused on student interests. Students begin the LTI program with informational interviews with community mentors that may lead to shadowing opportunities or internships. These mentors offer students exposure to real world experiences that seek to highlight relevance to their academic learning.

IHS Principal Tierney Cahill stated that “IHS is honored to be recognized as the first and only high school in the Washoe County School District to receive the OSIT award. It is a testament to the dedication of our staff and the quality work of our students. We could not have achieved this milestone without the community support from both the Duffield Foundation and the Incline Education Fund.”

Incline Education Fund is dedicated to the task of tying the STEM programs at all three Incline public schools together to create the first and only K12 STEM Pathway in the state. They are launching a STEP Up for STEM fundraising campaign with a goal of $300,000 to stabilize these exciting programs. Funds will be used for STEM program costs, academic tutors & mentors to get students to grade-level competency, equipment/technology, and new programs to keep the curriculum cutting-edge.

For more information about these programs go to: Inclineeducationfund.org

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