The Virgin Islands Department of Education, St. Croix District held its annual Summer Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Research Academy from July 5 – August 4, 2017 at the St. Croix Educational Complex High School for students in grades 4 – 12.
The goal of research program was to stimulate high interest and improve academic achievement in math and science, thus increasing career and college readiness in STEM fields.
Teachers who served as Lead Researchers and college students who served as Research Assistants guided approximately 180 students in high-level inquiry and research.
In the research process, students sought answers through experimentation and data analysis. Investigations were designed to create new questions for students to explore. They quickly learned that there’s no one resource for answers which aided in their critical thinking and problem solving skills.
“What the students really did was experienced and discovered new elements as they conducted research, which is what real scientists do,” St. Croix District Science Coordinator Rosa White proudly stated.
Representatives from various public and private agencies and organizations provided background information for the students’ projects through the inquiry and research phase. Students also participated in field trips to places of interest on the island relevant to the topics of study.
The summer program culminated with an EXPO on August 3 and 4 where students showcased their research projects to parents, District officials, and the community.
Research projects conducted in the District’s Summer STEM Research Academy included Integration of Sports in STEM, Drones & Rovers, LEGO is Not Just for Kids, St. Croix Water Supply & Storage, Public Health Assessment of the Aesthetics of Fish Vending on St. Croix, and Tsunami Preparedness.
Special thanks to District Mathematics Coordinator, Juanita Boneque, and District Science Coordinator, Rosa White, for their commitment to this project. Job well done!