Transformation of STEAM in an Entire District

In this highlighted success story, using the RAS program as a catalyst, an entire district’s vision of reshaping its STEAM programming is realized.

Norwalk Public Schools (NPS) has the honor of being named Connecticut’s #1 City School District for 3 Years in a Row! The district encompasses two high schools, and one alternative high school program, 4 middle schools, and 12 elementary schools.

Their mission is to create a student-focused culture that motivates, challenges and supports each individual student to his or her highest levels of achievement.

As a part of this mission NPS asserts, in order to ensure that we provide the best possible education, each student must be prepared to meet the technological challenges of our contemporary society. The final vision being all students will graduate prepared to reach their highest potential for college, career, and life-long success in a globally competitive society.

Problem: Foundational STEM Program that Speaks to All Students

With an already very strong STEAM focus, NPS had a well-established path and a variety of course offerings. However, there were some key objectives that were not completely fulfilled by the current curriculum offerings.

After a coordinated review, it became clear that an increased emphasis on career connectedness was needed to fulfill their vision. Additionally, the NPS needed a foundational STEAM course that was engaging to the entire spectrum of the student body, while also teaching core technical and professional skills.

Results: An Engaging Career Oriented Student Experience

Through word-of-mouth networking, school administration and Milestone C were connected. The connection led to ongoing discussions where it became apparent that the courses offered by Milestone C completed the puzzle for the vision of a full spectrum STEAM experience.

Robotics and Automated Systems (RAS) was used as an introductory program to generate interest and excitement about STEAM fields, while also providing students context regarding STEAM careers. The STEAM tracks were bolstered by additional course offerings ranging from software and drone technology to underwater robotics and aviation. This gave students not only the necessary technical and professional skills but also the understanding of what it’s like to be a STEAM professional in a given career path.

The result is a more prepared student on multiple levels. A student who not only has technical prowess, but also critical thinking and problem-solving skills. One who has developed key professional skills, such as teamwork, communication, and the ability to present their ideas. And most importantly, a student who is more capable of making confident career and higher education decisions guiding them into the future.

“For the past decade, it has been my mission to find unique and exciting STEM programs for the students in our district. Although we have participated in many, none compare to the curriculum that Milestone C offers.
Milestone C curricula are much more than just fun and exciting STEM programs. The problem-solving, critical thinking and team-building delivery of instruction provides students with the qualities that all universities and employers are seeking in a high-quality candidate.
The experiences students gain after completing any one of Milestone C courses, will not only prepare them for a future career in a STEM field but, more importantly, for life.”

Tina Henckel

Director of STEM, Norwalk Public Schools District