STEM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Teaching and learning STEM offers students opportunities to make sense of the world they live in and prepare them for the future workforce. Occupations in STEM-related careers are some of the fastest growing in the 21st century. The Doe Creek Middle School STEM curriculum and STEM programs focus on the engineering design process, hands-on inquiry activities, rigorous math and science content, real-word problem solving, and productive teamwork. Each STEM base unit that your student will be involved in is a collaborative effort to encompass these important skills. Our school curriculum incorporates community involvement and mentorship, as well as after school STEM oriented programs in the forms of extra-curricular clubs and teams. Convocations centered around science and inquiry are incorporated throughout the year such as “Chemistry is Blast” sponsored by Lilly. Many of the units showcase our students competitive skills such as the Science Education Foundation of Indiana local and regional science fairs. Beginning in 7th grade, students are introduced to project-based lessons which continue to build in 8th grade. Students then have STEM pathways to choose from as they graduate into high school. New Palestine High School offers Project Lead the Way Biomedical course or Engineering course pathways. With our expanding opportunities and curriculum, Doe Creek Middle School is now recognized by the Indiana Department of Education as an Approaching STEM School.
For each collaborative STEM unit, the concept is introduced during a science class activity but is built upon in Mathematics, Technology, Social Studies, Language arts, and Unified Arts classes. Each unit focuses on engineering and/or mathematics but includes communication skills with technology. Being connected is part of the learning process. Doe Creek Middle School and the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County have utilized one-to-one technology for the last six years. Our STEM inquiry curriculum allows educators to use access to technology in connecting students with appropriate local and world communities that are rich sources of learning.
After school STEM programs include the DCMS VEX IQ Robotics Team, which competed at the state level in 2015-16, and the Science Club. The robotics program is now featured in the largest STEM directory, please check us out on the The Connectory website. Our Science Club in collaboration with Chemical Educational Foundation, competes in the You Be the Chemist Challenge. Three students advanced to the state level in our first year of competition. This year our club program will be expanded to involve collaborative projects with the Lilly Science coaches and the Hancock County Purdue Extension office and 4-H.