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MHS teachers present at national STEM conference

MHS teachers present at national STEM conference
Posted on 10/01/2014

MHS teachers/instructional coaches, Kelly Shipley (left), Pam Canady (pictured, right) and Jared Larson presented a workshop at the national conference of the Math/Science Partnership Program in Washington D.C. this week.

The presentation was focused on the MHS ninth-grade science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) project, which promotes the natural connectedness of biology and algebra. Specifically, the workshop highlighted the collaborative teaching, coaching, and assessment of student work that is featured in the project and the robust problem-based learning that characterizes the project.

The STEM Project is funded by a Title IIB competitive grant totalling about $1 million over three years.


The following program description is from the project proposal:

Project Design

The STEM Professional Learning Communities Partnership Project (STEM PLC) is designed to facilitate the interconnectedness of algebra and biology. Core components of the project include:

  • Intensive and sustained professional development
  • Job-embedded instructional coaching
  • Data Teams/Professional Learning Communities
  • Problem-and project-based collaborative learning

Project Rationale

The STEM PLC Project fits into a larger structure at McMinnville High School (MHS) that features 9th grade interdisciplinary teams of teachers (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Freshman Seminar) who share common students, planning time, and instructional strategies, and who have physical proximity and flexible blocks of contiguous time. Within the teaming structure, MHS provides double-block algebra (90 minutes every day) for 9th graders who performed below proficiency on the 8th grade state math assessment, in order to better ensure they catch-up, keep-up, and move-up to proficiency in math Essential Skills and complete Algebra I by the end of 9th grade to remain on-track for an Oregon Diploma.

Project Objectives

The STEM PLC Project is designed to increase student achievement and accelerate student growth by increasing teacher effectiveness and providing vibrant and robust experiential learning.


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