The Icing on Our “Cupcakes”
Yes, while everyone loves the taste of cupcakes, often it is the most beautifully or creatively decorated cupcake that grabs the eye and leads to the quickest devouring. But, you might ask how did the topic of cupcakes come up in the first place? In this case, it was something that made it onto our twitter feed – a tweet from a Nebraska Legislator thanking us for showing up on Bellevue cupcake day. We often get calls, tweets, even people wanting to join the Bellevue Chamber from Bellevue Nebraska or one of the other Bellevue’s, since there are over 121 across the globe. So, it is usually with a chuckle that we have to kindly note – wrong Bellevue. My most memorable Bellevue confusion was when Jamie Lee Curtis (yes the actress) asked for my business card in Sun Valley since her sister had just purchased a historic property downtown and was going to redevelop it. My mind quickly went to “where would that location be” to “do you mean Bellevue, Idaho?”
In the case of Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, and I need to quickly note – not our counterparts in Bellevue, Nebraska nor Bellevue, Idaho – it is the sprinkles on top that continue to have Bellevue, Washington at the top of the livability lists.
Our City and downtown have gotten more diverse and younger. We continue to attract and grow amazing companies and the talent that makes our community a destination of choice. So, here are a few “sprinkles” of amazing things that our kids are doing within the Bellevue School District in the area of STEM and Computer Science Initiatives (stats courtesy BSD):
- All elementary students are learning the engineering design process through engineering challenges embedded in K-5 science curriculum. Similar challenges are being developed and refined at the middle school level.
- Every elementary school has resources for after school robotics programs for K-5 students, free of charge.
- Teachers have received intensive, ongoing professional development at K-5 to teach engineering and incorporate new standards into their instructional practice.
- Elementary schools are supported in hosting Family Engineering Nights to encourage engineering design and problem solving beyond the school day.
- All elementary schools as well as some middle and high schools participated in Hour of Code in December 2015.
- Nearly one-fourth of elementary teachers participated in a computer science pilot this year focusing on teaching coding using either Scratch or the Code.org courses.
- Middle school teachers piloted a Code.org course that integrated computer science into the core science curriculum.
- Middle school teachers piloted a line-based coding class using Python supported by Tech Smart Kids.
- Advanced Placement computer science is offered at 5 Bellevue School District high schools.
- BSD awarded OSPI grant to develop computational thinking professional development course for teachers and develop lessons integrating computational thinking in Math, Science, Social Studies, and Visual Arts.
- Most of the Bellevue School District Graduates take an average of six Advanced Placement courses before graduation.
Kudos to Superintendent Mills, the Bellevue School Board, the terrific teachers and staff but most importantly the kids in our district that know the icing on our “cupcakes” is centered around STEM!