Eastern Elementary is accredited as a STEM School of Distinction!
Eastern Elementary School
Unlike many of their peers whose teachers and parents embraced the incorporation of STEM from the beginning, Eastern Elementary School in Greenville felt some growing pains when they first introduced STEM principles. But six years later, this home to 775 students has found real value in learning through the lens of STEM and the entire community—teachers, students, administrators, and parents—have embraced the teaching and learning methodology. As a result, they’ve been recognized for all their hard work by being named a NC School STEM School of Distinction.
Lindsey Stalls, the STEM Site Coordinator at Eastern Elementary, says that much of the school’s success is owed to the level of integration of STEM across everything they do. She notes that “In Pitt County Schools, STEM represents Strategies That Engage Minds (as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math),” so while the focus is of course on science and math, the real goal is to teach students to be collaborators and critical thinkers across all disciplines. Stalls continues, “We stress the 4Cs by weaving the core principles of STEM in every core subject (Math, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies) and Encore subjects (PE, Art, and Music), often making cross-curricular connections.”
A terrific example of this melding of STEM and non-STEM elements is the school’s extracurricular clubs. They offer a robotics club and a Science Olympiad, but also invite students to join the Battle of the Books and a running club. Stalls describes this critical integration of non-STEM elements into the school’s experience, saying this blend of activities “meet students where they are, engaging them fully and igniting their love of learning.”
After some initial nerves over the switch to a STEM focus, parents have become some of the greatest champions of the foundation being built at Eastern Elementary. They’re seeing their children becoming successful in all areas of study and they’re bringing critical thinking, teamwork, and problem solving to everything they do—inside and outside of school. And of course, these skills pave the way to success not just in education but for career opportunities in the future.
This development of problem solving has led to one of the students’ favorite activities from this past year. Says Stalls, “The students’ favorite project was observing chicken eggs as they developed and then hatched followed by an opportunity to design and build more effective nesting boxes.” There was something for every type of learner here, but Stalls notes that many of their tactile learners truly thrived in this environment as they were able to use their out-of-the-box thinking and actually touch the subject about which they were studying. A recipe for success!
Congratulations to Eastern Elementary School and best of luck for a successful 2022-2023 school year!