At STEMxchange 2016, presenters were challenged to share their successes during “STEM in 400 Seconds.” Lancaster Independent School District was represented by Kyndra Johnson, Executive Director for Academics and Innovation.
Recognized as a T-STEM designated district in 2012, Lancaster ISD has since become an exemplar for STEM education in the state of Texas.
“In Lancaster ISD, our vision is to ensure that all students achieve self-sustaining success and leave a lasting legacy. In my role in the district, I believe that I am living my legacy in real time, because I grew up as a STEM student.”
The “it takes a village” mentality is integral to Lancaster ISD’s success.From administrators and teachers to students and parents, every link in the chain works together to prepare students for the future.
The school board has been honored at the national and state level as the “premier, first honor board in the state.”
But Lancaster ISD is more than just honored; they’re proven. They have the highest graduation rate and science performance in the Best Southwest Region.
How did they get there? In large part, they established pipelines with a local focus to take advantage of what their community had to offer.
“Each of these pipelines connects to resources as well as human capital that exists in our area: engineering with an aeronautical focus, entrepreneurship, global arts communication, health science technology, and information systems and software design.”
These comprehensive pipelines then set up students for college and careers.
“Each of our students are able to matriculate, beginning in Pre-K, through each of these pipelines, such that when they are ready to graduate from our high school, they have endorsements at the state level, as well as a plan for what they could potentially enter into as a career field.”
Most importantly, Lancaster has leveraged their local partnerships to offer spectacular project-based opportunities for students in their pipelines.
“Our students have built a street-legal race car, in partnership with Experience Aviation and Captain Barrington Irving Jr… Our most recent initiative is a service learning problem based learning unit that is going to partner us with Experience Aviation one more time, as well as the Wings of Hope Foundation. Our students are building a Cessna 182 aircraft that will be used in mission projects throughout the next year with Wings of Hope, to provide medical supplies, food, and other resources to other countries.”
“You can’t do this without the strategic alliances and the partnerships that are continuing to thrive in STEM education.”
Connect with Kyndra Johnson to share tips on working with your community partners by contacting her at email@example.com.