The Georgia Department of Education awarded Virginia L. Heard Elementary School with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) certification March 24, 2022. Serving grades prekindergarten through fifth, Heard Elementary became the first STEAM-certified elementary school Southeast of Macon and the first STEAM-certified elementary school in Savannah-Chatham County. Heard Principal Alonna Curry says, “Words can't describe how excited our students and staff are to be awarded STEAM certification. The students and staff have worked hard in solving real world problems within our community using Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math."
STEAM is the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics infused with meaningful arts integration. To be awarded STEAM certification, schools must submit an application showcasing they meet specific criteria, including evidence of teacher collaboration, business, industry, and community partnerships, high levels of math, science, technology, and arts instruction, and an integrated, project-based STEAM curriculum. This multi-year process includes a close collaboration between the school and the Georgia Department of Education with multiple visits, professional development, curriculum planning, student/faculty/parent/business partners interviews, and rigorous action planning for future growth and development.
The school will receive a banner from the Georgia Department of Education to be displayed in celebration of their certification and will be acknowledged at a ceremony later in the year.
Part of the Savannah-Chatham County School System, Heard Elementary is located in the Kensington Park/Oakdale neighborhood community serving students throughout Savannah and Chatham County. Heard was previously awarded Georgia Department of Education STEM certification in 2017. Putting into practice its motto, “Think Globally, Act Locally," students at Heard benefit from an on-site garden, a chicken habitat, a STEAM lab, Makerspace, and are often found conducting experiments in the local creek. For more information about Heard Elementary, visit their website at heard.sccpss.com.