Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Henderson Elementary School’s Building Teacher’s Capacity for Children’s Engineering Program (Children’s Engineering Program) received the 2019 “Programs that Work” award from the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition (VMSC).
The VMSC recognizes effective student and teacher educational programs through its “Programs that Work” Awards. These programs exemplify innovative and effective techniques, demonstrate the importance of science concept skills or processes, and have a proven impact on teaching and learning.
Henderson began their Children’s Engineering journey in 2012. Representatives from the school, joined by Prince William County School Division representatives, visited Chesterfield County Schools to meet with the president of the Virginia Children’s Engineering Council (VCEC) to learn about two award-winning Children’s Engineering programs. From there, Henderson developed a teacher training program of their own that outlined the definitions and benefits of Children’s Engineering, technology, and science. Once training began, teachers started to implement Children’s Engineering in their classrooms through design challenges.
Henderson continued to dive into their Children’s Engineering Program, participating in further training, courses, and conventions. In 2013, Henderson achieved designation by the school district as an “Elementary Focus School for Children’s Engineering Integrating STEM into the K-5 Curriculum.” By 2015, Henderson was recognized as “Program of the Year” by both the VCEC, and the Virginia Technology and Engineering Educators Association.
Upon being recognized as a “Programs that Work” by the VMSC at the end of 2018, Henderson was invited to attend the 2019 Programs That Work Awards: Conference and Recognition Ceremony on Jan. 15. The conference and ceremony were attended by Henderson Principal Suzanne Bevans, Assistant Principal Beth Nuckles, ESOL Lead Lisa Jacobsmeyer, and STEM Coach Kelley Davis. The Henderson representatives presented a poster at the conference providing attendees with the story behind the Building Teacher’s Capacity for Children’s Engineering Program. The conference also included a keynote address by Joanna Garner, executive director of the Center for Educational Partnerships at Old Dominion University, as well various panel discussions.
Upon return from the conference, Bevans said, “The conference validated our mission at Henderson because we were the only K-5 school where teachers are provided with the skill set to integrate STEM into the classroom, preparing our students to be the work force of the future.”
Developing innovative programs that benefit students and teachers is #PositivelyPWCS!