Ashburn, VA (January 25, 2017) – Liberty Elementary School has been selected as a finalist for the STEM Excellence Award. The winners of these awards will be announced January 26th at the 37th National Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, FL.
Liberty was chosen as one of the three finalists from more than a hundred applications. (The other finalists are Mountain View Elementary in Prince William County and Oxford Elementary School in Oxford, Kansas.)
In its award application, Liberty’s staff outlined the ways STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is woven into every part of the school.
Each of Liberty’s 1,082 students participate in the bi-weekly Smart Lab challenge, which showcases technology and design that is new to students and teachers each year. Liberty created and opened the Smart Lab this year. The Smart Lab keeps teachers aware, educated and using the latest technology in a collaborative environment for students and teachers alike. Students learn the latest in coding, 3D engineering, robotics and more. Lessons are co-taught by their classroom teacher, the technology resource teacher and, when appropriate, special educators and English language learner (ELL) teachers. Students also collaborate with students across grade levels in “STEM buddies” and on their grade level with project based learning (PBL) units of study. Teachers collaborate in the planning process in collaborative learning teams for STEM, PBL, Smart Lab and more.
Every instructional staff member has a professional Twitter account for showcasing learning and participating in professional learning networks with Liberty colleagues and those across the globe. Additionally, more than a dozen current staff members have presented on STEM methods at state, national and international conferences.
Liberty also offers free transportation and food for its free STEM community event, STEMmerday, and free and reduced scholarships for its summer STEM camp, STEMmerweek. (This year’s STEMmerday is from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11th.)
The members of Liberty’s STEM team are:
Principal Paul Pack
Assistant Principal Diane Insari
Administrative Dean Alex Gray
Technology Resource Teacher Nichole Thomas
Resource Specialist Stephanie Worthley
Art Teacher Shea Goitia
Kindergarten Teacher Chelsea Diana
First Grade Teacher Jessica Houck
First Grade Teacher Amelia Hunter
Second Grade Teacher Ashley Schmidt
Second Grade Teacher Megan Eno
Third Grade Teacher Leah Gilbert
Third Grade Teacher Turner Donaldson
Fourth Grade Teacher Ian Beichler
Fourth Grade Teacher Leanne Fisher
Fifth Grade Teacher Lisa Diamond
Fifth Grade Teacher Courtney Peckham