The Ohio Department of Education has released its request for applications for 2018 STEM and STEAM school designations. Here’s what you need to know if your school is considering submitting an application this year.
STEAM Designation, which includes arts in the acronym, is brand new this year. Schools will be eligible to apply for STEM or STEAM, not both – and the application process is substantially similar for either one. The Ohio STEM Committee, which awards designations on behalf of the state, has always required the integration of arts and humanities in STEM curriculum. This year, however, applicants wishing to emphasize their arts integration may consider selecting STEAM designation. Those applicants will be expected to include specific examples of how arts and humanities will be integrated into science, technology, engineering and math curriculum and to have an arts integration expert as part of their curriculum teams. Arts emphasis also should be considered in the recruitment and selection of partner organizations.
Also, for all applicants, a Letter of Intent is required this year. It’s due December 20, 2017. (More important dates are provided below).
Eligible applicants include elementary, middle and high schools, including public, public charter and private schools. All applicants will be expected to describe:
- Partnership with both public and private entities, including higher education and business;
- Rigorous, diverse, integrated and project-based curriculum to prepare students for college, the workforce, and citizenship;
- Programs that emphasize the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in promoting innovation and economic progress, incorporate scientific inquiry and technological design, include the arts and humanities, and emphasize personalized learning and teamwork.
More than 40 schools have received STEM designation so far. STEM or STEAM designation is a status, not a grant. Ohio law carves out special rules and reporting requirements which are designed to provide flexibility in some operating requirements but do require additional accountability, especially in financial reporting. Engage your treasurer or fiscal manager sooner rather than later to make sure you understand your commitments if approved as a STEM or STEAM school. There is no additional direct funding from the state for designated schools, but Ohio’s STEM schools receive recognition and technical support through the Ohio STEM Learning Network. Special access to new resources (training, curriculum, tools, etc.) is sometimes available.
Dates and Deadlines
- OSLN will host a live webinar about the application process on December 13. Register here.
- Letters of intent to apply must be emailed to Holly Lavender at ODE by December 20.
- Contact OSLN by January 15, 2018, to request personalized technical assistance. Do not skip this step! OSLN assists the Ohio STEM Committee and Ohio Department of Education in all aspects of STEM designation and will provide good advice to applicants.
- Submit a draft proposal to OSLN by January 29, 2018 to receive written feedback.
- Submit final proposal to Holly Lavender by 5 p.m. March 2, 2018.
EnvisionEdPlus has assisted both public and private schools in making successful applications for STEM designation. Let us know if you want to learn more about how we can help. Questions? Contact Tricia Moore, director of Partnership and Outreach, by email or phone (614-357-4439).