McHenry School District 15 STEM Program Competes at Largest Technology Conference in the Nation
While McHenry County was entrenched in the bitter cold this week, McHenry School District 15 was competing as a finalist at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) for the national STEM Excellence Award. The FETC is the largest independent technology conference in the country that focuses on the exploration of new technologies, best practices, and pressing issues by thousands of districts, schools, and educators.
Specifically, McHenry Middle School was showcased for their innovative STEM and STEAM curriculum that has been designed for students in beautifully constructed makerspaces inclusive of STEM Labs, STEAM Studios and Video Production Hubs. The school was named one of the top three finalists for the FETC STEM Excellence Award last month and the winner was announced Wednesday, January 30th, at the conference in Orlando, Florida.
McHenry School District 15’s competing middle school faced off against two other finalists chosen from around the country; Mater Academy Charter Middle School, Miami-Dade County, Hialeah Gardens, Fa. and The STEM Academy at Bartlett, Savannah, Ga.
On the last day of the conference, over 20,000 educators from around the world gathered for the closing keynote presentation where the STEM Excellence winners were announced. McHenry Middle School made it to the final two, rivaling returning STEM Excellence winner, The STEM Academy at Bartlett, Savannah, Ga.
“As it came down to the final two schools and the names were about to be announced, our team all looked at each other and held our breath in hopes we would be the top selected middle school in the nation. It was an amazing moment for all of us that work in School District 15,” shared Dr. Fred Laudadio, Executor Director of Learning and Technology for District 15.
In the end, McHenry Middle School was selected second and runner up to the STEM Academy at Bartlett from Savannah Georgia who was announced as the winner.
“We have many things to be proud of here at McHenry Middle School and in District 15,” stated Dr. Mike Glover, Principal of McHenry Middle School. “Wednesday, at FETC's STEM Excellence Awards, we added to that pride, where we were runner-up to an outstanding STEM Academy. We are second to none as a public school district when it comes to offering high quality STEM and STEAM education for all of our students. McHenry Middle School and District 15 students are provided incredible academic and co-curricular opportunities everyday. Now people across the country know that our STEM and STEAM programs are truly some of the best in the nation!”
Students and staff at McHenry Middle School worked extremely hard the weeks leading up to the Future of Education Technology Conference. They took to social media developing a strong marketing campaign inclusive of inspirational ideas, videos and newscasts highlighting STEM Excellence within their school.
“Our district is leading through innovation,” shared Dr. Josh Reitz, Assistant Superintendent for McHenry School District 15. “We are providing students in McHenry with opportunities at a level that currently doesn't exist in many communities across the country and are very proud of that.”
McHenry School District 15 Superintendent, Dr. Alan Hoffman stated, “I'm confident that we are winners in every sense of the word and we should continue to be proud of the work we are doing everyday in all academic areas and in our co-curricular activities, as we continue to shape tomorrow's leaders!”