STEM+Computer Science and Environmental Programs

  • STEM & Computer Science header

    STEM challenges button

    Welcome to the 2023-24 school year! Don't forget to submit your entry in our quarterly STEM+CS Challenges

    The STEM + Computer Science program encompasses the following initiatives: Computer Science (BrowardCODES, Computational Thinking Pathways, MinecraftEdu, Spatial Learning Pathways), Engineering and Robotics (SECME, VEX Robotics), Esports and Environmental Stewardship (P3 Eco-Challenge, School Gardening,TEA Garden, Youth Climate Summit, PBL Portal). Click the accordion links below or from the left drop-down links to navigate the different initiatives.  

    STEM is the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into an inquiry-based interdisciplinary approach to learning.  In STEM, connections are made between the various disciplines, and content is learned in the context of the topic being studied and not as an isolated curriculum. In STEM classrooms, students use critical thinking skills and creativity to solve problems and generate new ideas and can be part of Science courses, Math courses, Computer Science, many Career and Technical Education courses, and many other curricular areas. STEM is often implemented through extracurricular clubs that afford students opportunities to apply their content knowledge through problem-solving.

    For questions on specific programs, please contact us at browardstem@browardschools.com.

  • Computational Thinking Pathways

    Computational Thinking Pathways - BCPS is proud to partner with the non-profit organization, Digital Promise, to help expand computer science in schools, not just in Broward County, but across the nation.  BCPS is one of six school districts participating in a new, four-year, $2 million National Science Foundation Research-Practice Partnership – Districts Helping Districts:  Scaling Inclusive Computational Thinking Pathways. The goal of the partnership is to develop and refine strategies for increasing computer science participation by learners from underrepresented backgrounds.   

  • Computer Science

    Computer Science - BrowardCODES - Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) continues to be spotlighted by the White House as a national model for expanding access to computer science in schools. Through the District’s #BrowardCODES initiative, BCPS has expanded its connections between K-12 and computer science career pathways in South Florida in partnership with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, South Florida Regional TechGateway, and other local businesses.  More than 50,000 students are positively impacted by computer science offerings at 100 percent of BCPS K-12 schools.

    Computational Thinking Pathways - BCPS is proud to partner with the non-profit organization, Digital Promise, to help expand computer science in schools, not just in Broward County, but across the nation.  BCPS is one of six school districts participating in a new, four-year, $2 million National Science Foundation Research-Practice Partnership – Districts Helping Districts:  Scaling Inclusive Computational Thinking Pathways. The goal of the partnership is to develop and refine strategies for increasing computer science participation by learners from underrepresented backgrounds.   

    Florida K-12 Computer Science Certification Prep Camp, a five-day, intensive professional learning initiative to prepare district-identified teachers to pass the Florida Teacher Computer Science K-12 Certification Exam and expand Florida’s supply of certified, computer science teachers.

    Spatial Learning Pathways - Spatial reasoning is the ability to think and manipulate objects in 3-dimensions, often starting with a 2-dimensional representation of the object. Whether it is redesigning their own workspace, visiting interstellar worlds, or simulating a biological system, these skills empower students to navigate, manipulate, create, and build with, around, and in physical and virtual space. BCPS currently has a cohort of high school teachers trained in the Magic Leap 1 hardware and in 3D design/programming (Unity or Unreal).

  • Environmental Stewardship

    Environmental Stewardship programs are open to all schools at every level (pK - technical colleges).

    • STEM environmental initiatives brochure cover2023-24 Environmental Stewardship brochure - downloadable brochure of all our environmental initiatives.

    • The P3 Eco-Challenge recognizes and rewards schools, educators, students, custodial and non-instructional staff for their environmental stewardship at an annual Awards Ceremony for nominees in May of the school year. Cash and in-kind prizes are provided for winners.

    • Broward Youth Climate Summit - The Youth Climate Summit provides a platform for grades 5-12 students to advocate for policy change and gives students a voice for promoting environmental sustainability.  Students who attend the Summit share their climate action plans or projects and network with each other, elected officials and scientists working on sustainability issues.  

    • Broward PBL Portal at SciStarter - Provides opportunities for students to engage in projects with real-world relevance for learning. They can solve problems that are important to them and their communities. The Broward PBL Portal is the product of collaboration with SciStarter and Citizen Science. SciStarter is the place to find, join, and contribute to science by providing people with access to more than 2700 searchable formal and informal research projects & events. 

    • TEA Garden Food Forest - Technology Enabled Agriculture (TEA) or TEA Garden Food Forest is an in-depth model to educate students, teachers and their communities on how and why they can sustainably grow edible food together in their neighborhoods. Integrating schoolyard edible gardening in classrooms, cafeterias and afterschool programs, the Broward TEA Garden Food Forest also incorporates exciting technology used in the agriculture industry, such as drones, sensors, artificial intelligence, and digital data collection and collaboration. 

    • How Low Can You Go challenge - BCPS has partnered with the Miami Heat to see which school can reduce their percentage of energy and water consumption the most over a three-month period of time.

    • Schoolyard Gardens - Schools are provided with a comprehensive curriculum supplement for teaching health, science, language arts, mathematics, and social studies through the use of school gardens. 

    • Food Recovery Program - The Food Recovery Program is a pilot initiative aimed to reduce a school’s carbon footprint.  Students are encouraged to donate leftover unopened, uneaten or unpeeled items from their lunch trays that they don’t want to eat.  These collected foods are donated to a community food bank or other non-profit organizations.

  • Engineering and Robotics

    SECME-STEM Olympics - SECME STEM Olympiad program in Broward Schools is a strategic alliance to renew and strengthen the professional capacity of K-12 educators, motivate and mentor students, and empower parents so that all students can learn and achieve at higher levels. STEM is a Nationwide initiative which focuses on Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The SECME – STEM Olympiad combines these two philosophies into one event and will focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics principles as well as SECME national competitions. Broward County students compete in mousetrap cars, water bottle rockets, banners, essays, generator build, bionic arms, team challenge and VEX exhibition. Starting in 2017-18, the Broward SECME Bridge competition is affiliated with the Broward MPO/AASHTO National Bridge competition for grades 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12.

    VEX Robotics - Through partnerships with Code.org and grants from the National Science Foundation and the REC Foundation for VEX robotics, Broward County Public Schools is providing opportunities for all students in computer science and robotics.

  • BCPS Esports

    Broward County Public Schools is proud to announce the pilot season of BCPS Esports! Esports in education provides new opportunities for students to engage in their school community and foster teamwork.

    BCPS Esports is launching its first tournament featuring the videogame "Rocket League" at Blanche Ely High School on Saturday, October 29, 2022. Rocket League is a fast-paced game of cars playing soccer with an ESRB rating of E (for Everyone). Teams representing middle, high, and center schools from across the district will compete for the grand prize of $1,000, second place school $750, and third place school $500 to support their continued participation in our growing esports program.

    The Applied Learning Department plans on expanding the esports initiative across 100% of secondary grade schools by 2025.

    BCPS esports logo

  • MinecraftEdu

    Broward Schools is utilizing the Minecraft Education platform to engage students in problem and project-based learning. Minecraft challenges involve collaboration with other children and teammates, addressing our goal of classroom equity and increasing the number of young women engaging in STEM through a positive online digital world environment. 

    As of the end of the 2022-23 school year, BCPS has nearly 30,000 active Minecraft Education users.

  • P3 Eco-Challenge

    P3 Eco-Challenge logoThe P3 Eco-Challenge recognizes and rewards traditional BCPS schools, teachers, students, non-instructional and custodial staff for their efforts to learn about and implement environmentally sustainable measures and green initiatives within their schools and communities. There are two types of P3 challenges: P3 School Challenge – For schools that demonstrate participation in or implementation of different sustainability metrics based on a rubric composed of 5 comprehensive categories.Environmental Stewardship Recognition – For BCPS teachers, students, non-instructional and custodial staff who show evidence of promoting civic responsibility, environmental stewardship, and education of environmental issues.

  • Spatial Learning Pathways

    Spatial reasoning is the ability to think and manipulate objects in 3-dimensions, often starting with a 2-dimensional representation of the object. Whether it is redesigning their own workspace, visiting interstellar worlds, or simulating a biological system, these skills empower students to navigate, manipulate, create, and build with, around, and in physical and virtual space. We train teachers in the Magic Leap hardware and in 3D design/programming (Unity, Unreal, Minecraft, Tinkercad, Paint 3D, etc.).

  • Youth Climate Summit

    The Broward Youth Climate Summit provides a platform for BCPS students in grades 5-12 to advocate for policy change and gives students a voice for promoting environmental sustainability.  Students attend (virtually and/or in-person) a convention-type event to understand current events, connect with like-minded peers, receive resources and be involved in the latest climate-related learning.

  • Why is deliberate attention to STEM important in K-12 education?

    Globalization has resulted in the movement of jobs to countries with lower-wage workers.  In order to compete globally, the United States must ensure that our students have the skills needed for the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.  Research on job growth show that in the next few years 15 of the 20 fastest growing jobs will require substantial math and science preparation.  But when compared to other students on international tests of math and science, US students performed 25th in math and 21st in science of 30 industrialized nations.

    Based on the data, it has become clear that schools that provide a rich environment of challenging courses in math and science, and support student growth in these STEM fields are successful in preparing students for future positions, decisions and coursework

    Research shows that students who had research experiences in high school, who undertook an apprenticed mentorship or internship, and whose teachers connected the content across different STEM courses were more likely to complete college in a STEM major than their peers who did not report these experiences.  While not all students may be attending colleges or universities, it is understood that STEM-based decisions have become increasingly important as they power our economy and constitute fundamental aspects of our lives as citizens, workers, consumers, and parents.

  • STEM+CS Staff

    Dr. Lisa Milenkovic, Supervisor

    STEM staff
    Instructional Facilitators:

    • Sheryl Arriola, M.Ed
    • Belinda Beckford
    • Adrian L. Carter
    • James English
    • Elaine Fiore
    • Cynthia (Cindy) Griffin
    • Rebecca Malones, M.Ed
    • Annmargareth Marousky
    • Summer Scarlatelli, M.Ed
    • Debra "Kelly" Thomas, Ed.S

    Nunderia (Nundy) Adderley - Professional Development Specialist

    Contact: browardstem@browardschools.com

Contact Information

  • Applied Learning

    600 SE Third Avenue

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

    Phone: 754-321-1878

    Fax: --

    TTL: --

    Phone: --

    Susan M. Cantrick

    Director

Broward STEM + Computer Science Curriculum Supervisor

STEM+CS In the News

  • The 2023 Broward Youth Climate Summit at Pompano Beach High School was a great success for the more than 900 students from grades 5-12 who attended. Watch BECON's video of the summit at https://becon.eduvision.tv/default?q=3SfVi13wT7Qu6t7i0KFvYg%253d%253d

    Floranada Elementary students at the 2023 Youth Climate Summit

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  • Congratulations to all 2023 P3 Eco-Challenge winners!  Top school prize: Central Park Elementary. To see all nominees and winners, visit the P3 Eco-Challenge page, scroll down to P3 Links and click the P3 Winners and Nominees (Bios and Programs).

    2023 P3 School Winner Central Park Elementary

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  • BCPS won the Gold designation again for the Florida Green District Award for 2021. STEM + Computer Science staff with the winning banner below.

    STEM + CS staff with winning banner

     

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  • Students from Westglades Middle School learned all about hurricanes from the Weather Rangers' exercise at the Broward Emergency Operations Center.  Watch BECON's coverage of this event at https://becontelevision

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