• STEAM in education refers to an intentional focus on using Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.  STEAM broadens the focus of STEM by including art/design and recognizing the importance of creativity, design processes, and iterative thinking.

    We want all students, boys and girls, to excel in STEAM-related subjects and with STEAM-related tasks.  Just as important, we want our boys and girls to value math, science, technology, engineering, and principles of art/design AND believe in their abilities to be successful, even when - especially when - the tasks are challenging. 

    Racial and gender gaps in STEM or STEAM fields are not exclusive to Tillman or Kirkwood, but they are unfortunately evident in our school and district. There are a number of racial and gender gaps in our data, across multiple disciplines, but none stands out more than what we've seen specific to math and science - the STEAM fields most frequently assessed.  Addressing these gaps is one of several district-wide areas of focus. 

    A number of strategies to address gender gaps are included in our strategic plan, both at the school and district level.  These include the following:

    • Increase opportunities in STEAM education for all K-5 students, to include school-based extracurricular programming that supports interest and experiences in STEM/STEAM fields.  These may include but not be limited to robotics, coding, and math clubs (i.e. Equations).
    • Explore and implement mentoring programs to support students who would most benefit from these opportunities, to include but not be limited to students of color, students with IEPs, and girls interested in STEAM fields.
    • Explore options to engage families in daytime and evening celebrations of student learning and school pride.  Events may include but not be limited to STEAM celebrations, math, reading, and/or writing celebrations.

    We know these strategies alone will not eliminate our racial and gender gaps, and planning work is underway to "step-up" efforts to better understand and address gaps in ways that lead to positive outcomes for all students.  We look forward to partnering with families and members of our broader community to tackle these needs head-on in support of our students.