STEM is a key initiative in TUSD and the Turlock Junior High School STEM program is an important cornerstone of our efforts to prepare students for careers in this growing field. The STEM program at TJHS is an interdisciplinary program of study consisting of rigorous and challenging courses. The program began in 2013-2014 school year and has continued to grow throughout the years. Students follow a pathway and are provided standards-based, structured inquiry-based, and real world learning experiences that interconnect STEM-related subjects. Students participate in Science Olympiad and visit several colleges during the course of the school year. They are also exposed to and made aware of the academic requirements of STEM fields and occupations and begin exploring STEM-related careers. Monthly speakers from local agencies and industry come and share lunch and their experiences and expertise with students. Currently elective teachers offering STEM electives have been trained in courses offered by Project Lead the Way (PLTW).
Turlock Junior High School offers a 7th and 8th grade STEM Pathway. Courses include the STEM Elective, STEM Language Arts, STEM History, and STEM Science. All STEM courses are rigorous, and students must meet specific criteria, including, but not limited to: high test scores; an appreciation for math, science, & language arts; and teacher recommendation. Interested students will be required to complete an application that will be reviewed and approved by TJHS staff. A drawing is held to determine initial entrance and waitlist for qualified applicants.
Students selected for the STEM Pathway are guaranteed entry into the STEM Elective. Students selected for the STEM Elective are not guaranteed entry into the STEM Pathway.
Electives added this school year include: STEM Computers, STEM Woodshop and STEM Hybrid. The latter is a course developed for students that may not meet the criteria for the Pathway but show interest and aptitude. Both the STEM Computer and STEM Woodshop class are open to all students.
STEM Hybrid teacher Maria Newsome shared that her students are currently in the PLTW unit of Design and Modeling. The class has an ongoing focus of designing with the needs of individuals with cerebral palsy in mind. In fact, their end of unit project is actually designing a toy to meet the needs of a child with cerebral palsy.
Keep up the great work, Tigers!