Ninth Grade Center now a STEM school


staff report

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced 19 schools — including the Ninth Grade Center in Wayne Township — are newly certified as leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This year’s cohort includes the largest number of secondary schools to engage in the certification process to date, as well as a new designation highlighting emerging STEM programs and leaders and the strides they are making to create an engaging STEM culture.

“The schools we spotlight today have demonstrated a commitment to providing high-quality, engaging STEM experiences that not only support students in developing problem-solving skills, but also prepare them for careers in emerging industries,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “As careers in STEM fields continue to drive our state’s economy, our role is to ensure every Hoosier student has access to high-quality STEM curriculum needed to meet both current and future demands.”

Created in 2015, the STEM Certification program recognizes schools committed to teaching STEM disciplines beyond the classroom. STEM Certification exemplifies a highly innovative approach to education, employing a great deal of inquiry, project-based learning, community engagement, entrepreneurship, student-centered classrooms, integration into humanities and related arts, and out-of-school STEM activities. For secondary schools in particular, earning STEM certification requires heightened intention and coordination in terms of vision, scheduling, and interdisciplinary collaboration. More than 100 schools statewide hold STEM Certification.

This year’s schools that have newly earned STEM Certification are:

Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center, MSD of Wayne Township
Beveridge Elementary School, Gary Community School Corporation
Canaan Community Academy
Eastern High School, East Washington School Corporation
Edgewood Middle School, Warsaw Community Schools
Glen Park Academy, Gary Community School Corporation
Graham Creek Elementary, Jennings County School Corporation
Jasper High School, Greater Jasper Consolidated School Corporation
Loogootee Middle School, Loogootee Community School Corporation
Memorial Park Middle School, Fort Wayne Community Schools
Mount Vernon High School, MSD of Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon Junior High School, MSD of Mount Vernon
South Ripley Junior High School, South Ripley Community Schools
Union City Junior/Senior High School, Randolph Eastern Community School Corporation
Washington High School, Washington Community Schools
Weisser Park Elementary, Fort Wayne Community Schools
Wes-Del Elementary School, Wes-Del Community School Corporation
Wes-Del Middle/High School, Wes-Del Community School Corporation

This year’s schools that have renewed STEM Certification for an additional five years are:

Barker Middle School, Michigan City Area Schools
Helfrich Park STEM Academy, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation
Kennedy Academy, South Bend Community School Corporation
Maconaquah Elementary School, Maconaquah School Corporation
The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship, Monroe County Community School Corporation

Each of these schools completed a rigorous application and review process, which must be repeated every five years to remain certified.

A new designation has been added this year to highlight schools which have demonstrated significant progress in creating an engaging STEM culture and empowering students to create and innovate through integrated STEM learning experiences. Schools designated as Developing in STEM Certification are:

Cherry Tree Elementary School, Carmel Clay Schools
Hammond Central High School, School City of Hammond
Kingsford Heights Elementary School, LaPorte Community School Corporation
Lynhurst Seventh and Eighth Grade Center, MSD of Wayne Township
Milan High School, Milan Community Schools
Morton Senior High School, School City of Hammond
North Decatur Junior/Senior High School, Decatur County Community Schools
Our Lady of Grace Catholic School

Each of these schools are continuing to establish infrastructure for sustainable, high-quality STEM education and will receive intentional, strategic support from IDOE as they progress toward STEM Certification.