Science Fair

The Vision for STEM and the Next Generation of Science in PVSD

STEM will be an integral part of the TK-8th grade PVSD curriculum, exciting and engaging students in learning that prepares them for  high school and provides teachers the resources necessary to integrate science, technology, engineering and math across all disciplines.

Mission Statement

PVSD provides students a collaborative, technological and innovative structure for deep scientific and mathematical literacy, reinforcing effective communication skills in an intentional integration of real-world problem solving into multi-disciplinary experiences.

Why STEM and What Does It Look Like in with the Next Generation of Science in PVSD?

The STEM acronym was first coined by the National Science Foundation in the early 1990s. The term STEM applied to any policy, event, curriculum, or education program dealing with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, but mainly focused on Science and Mathematics. The importance of integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is quickly becoming a priority in K-12 education and at colleges and universities in both undergraduate and graduate programs. STEM education is evolving into an integrative curriculum aimed at preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century. An integrative, applications-based STEM education program prepares our students to become creative and innovative problem solvers, researchers, engineers, and designers.

In PVSD, STEM is integrated into classroom instruction in every grade. STEM instruction is most evident in Science with the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) having an explicit strand for engineering. STEM is also evident math courses that bring concepts into practice and application. Project Based Learning (PBL) allows teachers to incorporate multiple subjects, including the components of STEM, into student learning.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, the authentic learning of science/STEM is meshed with hands-on, real world applications to kid-centered projects with a research-based design. Integrated STEM will develop critical thinking, problem solving, and stimulate creativity, all of which is tied to good teaching that will ignite passion in students for learning.

Although STEM is  the rage in the nation, the idea of integrating academic subjects with real world, student centered activities is something that the Ormondale staff has been working on for years.  The STEM Fund a Need and our Project-Based Learning (PBL) training created a new STEM Lab and a better understanding of what it means to design and implement STEM and Project Based activities that help to create 21st Century Learners.  The teachers at Ormondale are collaborating with their grade level teams and our STEM teacher to integrate STEM and PBL into the students daily lives, so that you can see STEM and PBL activities and new learning on a weekly basis.   You will see students doing these activities in the classroom, in the STEM lab, in the Science Lab, outside of the class walls, and at home.

At Corte Madera, STEM will provide access to hands-on activities with a sequential, inclusive approach. In the future, purposeful activities, tied to Project Based Learning, will link to the Common Core State Standards in Math and English Language Arts, tied directly to the Next Generation Science Standards. STEM will be dynamic, innovative, engaging and fun for students. Integrated STEM learning opportunities will prepare our students to develop skills necessary for a future/a world we do not know. 

Teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, communication and risk taking are skills our students will need to be successful in the future. STEM provides these skills, along with a focus on learning and creativity, which are also necessary for student success. Infusion of STEM into science classrooms will provide hands on projects for all students, creating a motivation for learning for all. Currently our students experience STEM lessons as an elective option, what we need to do is offer STEM as an integrated model for learning for all students.

Next Generation of Science in PVSD


·      Implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in all grades to ensure PVSD introduces all students to the current approach to science education

·      Empower students to become innovators and technologically proficient problem solvers

·      Ensure that all students have access to the appropriate technology conducive to enhancing their learning experiences both in and outside the traditional classroom

·      Increase STEM experiences and support curricular and extra-curricular STEM opportunities for students, including labs, maker spaces, and competitions

      Increase STEM experiences and support curricular and extra-curricular STEM opportunities for students, including labs, maker spaces, and competitions

·      Expand the resources and knowledge educators need to provide STEM experiences to all students, along with support for knowledge and performance-based assessments

·      The PVSD approach to STEM education will emphasize increasing access for girls, students with special needs, and underrepresented groups

·      Increase awareness of STEM education through communication and collaboration with the community

·      Guide community understanding of the importance of STEM education and build capacity to sustain a viable STEM educational program to prepare students for work and life in the 21st century that aligns to our Strategic Plan and our emphasis on Project Based Learning, global citizenship, and the 4C’s - communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity

·      Hire teachers into PVSD in core classes with a background in STEM, past experience in STEM and/or Project Based Learning, or a sincere interest in becoming part of a STEM-focused district