Passport to STEM

Scotland County Schools

Director:   Amber Hutchins
District Lead STEM3 Instructor
Laurinburg, NC

Project:   Passport to STEM

Scotland County Schools has implemented several STEM-focused initiatives in an effort to better prepare our community's children for today's workforce, as well as give them the skills and abilities needed to solve problems that have yet to arise.  The 'Passport to STEM' Summer camp and 'Saturday Science Journey' project provides 210 rising 5th grade students in the district with the opportunity to strengthen and improve their academic knowledge by previewing, viewing, and reviewing those STEM concepts that our students typically struggle with.  Additionally, data has shown that by providing some opportunities for students to preview some of the standards, their academic self-concept improves and failures are diminished.  The majority of the students recruited for this project are from economically disadvantaged homes.  A focus of the program is African Americans that are an underrepresented group in STEM related careers and that subgroup data shows have traditionally performed 27.7% below Caucasian students on the 5th grade science EOG (GLP). 

The curriculum for the Passport to STEM Summer Camp as well as for the Saturday Science Journeys comes from a variety of resources, but the overall objectives for both the summer camp and the Saturday enrichment days are to:

  • Improve their academic performance
  • Foster a positive attitude about science
  • Gain a better understanding of engineering careers
  • Expose the students to real world problems that encourage problem-based solutions