Rochester High School: A Lighthouse for STEM Education in Washington State

Rochester High School: A Lighthouse for STEM Education in Washington State
Posted on 06/30/2017

This year in Washington State a total of four schools and two districts will serve as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math mentors to other schools. Rochester High School is one of only two high schools in Washington State to receive this prestigious designation.

Now recognized as a STEM Lighthouse School, RHS is awarded a $20,000 grant that will promote and develop STEM education, including a remodel of our current wood shop facility to improve infrastructure and manufacturing technology available to students. This facility, referred to as a “makerspace” will be a model for others in the region.

The Lighthouse designation and grant funds include the responsibility of providing technical assistance and advice for other elementary, middle, high schools, and districts that are developing their own STEM environments.

“Many of our future jobs are going to require STEM skills,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Our Lighthouse schools have proven successful in getting their students that education. Having those schools share their success with other schools is a great example of the collaboration we have in Washington.”

STEM Lighthouse schools began in 2010, when the state Legislature passed House Bill 2621.The bill directs the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to designate lighthouse schools. The schools, according to the bill, will “serve as resources and examples of how to combine the following best practices:

Small, highly personalized learning communities;

An interdisciplinary curriculum with a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), delivered through a project-based instructional approach; and

Active partnerships with businesses and the local community to connect learning beyond the classroom.”


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