Raymond J. Fisher Middle School

California Distinguished School
STEM » FAQ

FAQ

What is STEM Education?

STEM refers to the fields and applications of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM initiatives promote education in these related areas so that students are prepared to study STEM fields in college and pursue STEM-related careers. Schools with a strong emphasis on STEM education often integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into the entire curriculum. (CPO Site)

Why STEM education?
President Obama's directives for STEM education are driven by the need to prepare more of our students for STEM-related careers so we can be competitive in the global economy. The Frameworks for K-12 Science also adopt the integration of scientific and engineering practices. (CPO Site)

How does CPO incorporate the standards?
CPO Science has inquiry based programs that require students to collaborate while conducting investigations. In the process, students learn how science is connected to real-world events. Students work together to conduct and design experiments to achieve desired results. Students use technology such as Data Collectors to collect data, and they create models to prove their findings.

STEM initiatives incorporate the 5 E's instructional model into the curriculum. The 5 E's are Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. The CPO Science product line was designed based on the 5E Instructional Model.

Correlations to the Engineering, Technology and Applications of Science frameworks have been prepared to make it easy for you to integrate the STEM initiatives into your classes with CPO products. (CPO Site)

When will my student have access to the ipad?
Students will enjoy one-to-one access to an ipad during their daily science class at Fisher. In addition, one Math teacher (Mr. Calimquim) is piloting the use of the ipads in four 8th grade Algebra classes.

Will students still have access to computers at Fisher?
Yes. Fisher still has a 30 iMac computer lab available in the Library Media Center at Fisher.

Students will also have one-to-one access to Macbooks in throughout the day in the English and History classes.

What do students need to do to get ready to receive an iPad?
The permission form has been mailed home and needs to be returned to your student's Science teacher by Thursday, September 27th.

Are teachers receiving professional development to increase their proficiency in integrating the use of ipads in the curriculum?
Yes. STEM teachers will receive eight full-day STEM professional training sessions this year. Michael Garcia, a highly qualified Apple professional development expert, who also has twenty-plus years of experience as a NASA scientist, will facilitate these sessions. He will also be serving as an in-class mentor to teachers as they implement STEM strategies and classroom activities.

What Apps will my student have access to when using the ipad?
Currently, the Google Drive and Apps are the primary Apps available for student use:
•Mail - an individual email account for school use managed by the Los Gatos Union School District and only used for educational purposes.
•Calendar - an individual calendar providing the ability to organize schedules, daily activities, and assignments
•Drive - a word processing, spreadsheet, drawing, and presentation toolset that is very similar to Microsoft Office
•Sites - an individual and collaborative website creation tool
•Video - an individual and collaborative video creation tool

We will also have the native Apple Apps available on the ipads and some requested Science & Math Apps that the teachers have requested.

Using these tools, students collaboratively create, edit and share files and websites for school related projects and communicate via teacher monitored discussion groups, blogs and wikis. These services are entirely online and available 24/7 from any Internet-connected computer.

Are there applications designed to support teachers in the managing and delivering of content including the distribution and collection of assignments, grading, as well as feedback and improvement?
Yes. Teachers and students will collaborate and communicate through our private LGUSD Educational Domain. Grading will still be maintained through our Student Information System (SIS) – PowerSchool.

Can these apps allow both students and teachers to access files on school networks?
Google Apps can be used for storage and sharing of files. Students will share a teacher Dropbox for any projects or assignments created on Apple Apps, which will be installed later in the year. (i.e., Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Garageband & iMovie)

Will the teachers have to train the students on how to use the iPad?
There are basic use lessons already designed and provided to the teachers to help instruct students in the use of the ipad.

Is there a block on social media websites?
Yes. Google Drive has many of the same features and is filtered. Your student can use this link to access their documents and files on Google Drive: https://docs.google.com/a/lgusd.k12.ca.us

Where can I get up to date information about the progress of the STEM @ Fisher program?
This website is the best place to get up-to-date information.

Are the ipads protected with a case?
The ipads are concealed in a GumDrop Case.

Will my student be held responsible for breaking an ipad?
No. If an ipad is broken during normal, responsible use, the student will not be held responsible. This will need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Do the iPads take the place of textbooks?
No timeline as been established for phasing out paper textbooks. The iPad can serve as a means of accessing much of the same content. The student's textbooks are available online in pdf format and thei ebook format has been installed on the ipads to be used in the iBooks Textbooks App.

If I do not want my child to use an iPad, will he or she be able to participate in class?
Yes. There will be an alternative means of completing assignments.

Are students blocked from downloading Apps on the ipads?
Yes. There is a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system that locks down the apps and monitors if someone attempts to tamper with the device.

Will there be any apps loaded on the iPads?
There are several free apps that will be on the devices. We will also be loading on some of the Apple Productivity Apps in the future. (i.e., Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Garageband & iMove)

What are the consequences if I attempt to jailbreak my iPad?
The consequences outlined in the iPad Use Rules apply.

What if another student spills water on my child's iPad while in the science lab and it's ruined – who is responsible for the damage?
Determination of responsibility for damage is on a case-by-case basis. The GumDrop case resists water and includes a screen protector. A spill would not be likely to damage an iPad that is protected by this case.

Will there be an app loaded to allow students and teachers to print from the iPad?
The completed assignment will be uploaded into Google Drive to beshared with other students or the teacher. By using electronic tools, the amount of printing and copying is expected to decrease significantly.