• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 34s

Weather Lab: Anchorage School District promotes STEM learning

By Melissa Frey Photojournalist: Beth Peak - 5:02 PM May 9, 2017

The Anchorage School District is offering new opportunities for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning.

They say STEM education helps students become more informed and thoughtful in all areas of life, but also increases their ability to gain employment later on.

To promote STEM learning, the district is now supplying teachers with science kits to incorporate hands on learning opportunities into their lessons. They’re also given access to business partners who use science in the real world.

Science kits are not new to the district, but what’s inside them is.

“It’s really important that our students are getting opportunities for hands on learning, to be asking questions, to be designing experiments, to be collecting data, evaluating data, making conclusions based on evidence, so really doing the science as a way of learning the science,” said Jennifer Witter, Anchorage School District STEM curriculum coordinator.

The curriculum is designed by ASD STEM teacher experts and are assembled by a three person team in a 4,500 foot warehouse at the Science Materials Center in Anchorage.

It’s a full-time, year round, effort to keep the kits supplied. This summer they’re finishing the curriculum and materials to teach science to over 25,000 students this fall.

“The more detail we can put into a kit and have it really organized the better it makes the kit and learning experience for students,” said Kate Robertson-Bartel, administrative assistant for the ASD Science Materials Center.

Over 1,000 teachers in Anchorage are given a new kit each semester. It’s a method of learning the kids get excited for.

“It’s fun to get a little dirty, it’s fun to ask questions and to be surprised by what you see,” said Witter.

As these students learn about everything from Alaskan animals to clouds, research shows their STEM lessons also prepare them for the world beyond the classroom.

“STEM is important because we’re trying to educate students for success in life and one way they can be successful is to have critical thinking, problem solving skills and STEM is a great way to provide that base for them,” said Witter.

Starting next year, Anchorage elementary students will also have the opportunity to attend the district’s first STEM elementary school.

Campbell Elementary is becoming a school-wide alternative program with a stem focus. They’ll feature a STEM curriculum and will intentionally include science, technology, engineering and math in every subject.

The program will be open to both children in the neighborhood and through ASD’s lottery.

KTVA was proud to be business partner to help promote STEM learning about meteorology. Click on the links below to see our KTVA Weather Lab stories that aired this school year.

KTVA’s Meteorologist Melissa Frey can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter

Latest Stories

  • OJ Simpson granted parole in Nevada robbery

    by Associated Press on Jul 20, 11:00

    LOVELOCK, Nev. (AP) – O.J. Simpson will be paroled after serving nine years in prison for a botched bid to retrieve sports memorabilia in Las Vegas. A Nevada parole board decided Thursday that the 70-year-old former football, TV and movie star will be released in October after serving his minimum term for armed robbery and […]

  • House backs King Cove road in remote Alaska wildlife refuge

    by Associated Press on Jul 20, 10:47

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has approved legislation allowing a proposed road through a remote national wildlife refuge in Alaska that was rejected by the Obama administration. A bill approved Thursday would grant a land exchange allowing Alaska to build the road between two rural communities, King Cove and Cold Bay. They sit near the […]

  • News

    Research ships find Bering Sea crab boat in sinking with 6 missing

    by Associated Press on Jul 20, 10:19

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Federal research ships have found a crab boat that sank with six men on board in the Bering Sea. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the F/V Destination, a 98-foot crab boat that disappeared Feb. 11, was found upright in 250 feet of water off St. George Island. No bodies […]

  • News

    Safeway drug theft puts focus on delayed reporting issues, DEA says

    by Steffi Lee on Jul 20, 8:25

    Drug Enforcement Administration officials say a recent $3 million settlement paid by the Safeway grocery chain, prompted by opioids missing from an Alaska pharmacy, highlights the need for a documented trail of the supply and distribution chain of all medications from pharmacies. The fine settles allegations by the Department of Justice that Safeway did not […]

  • News

    SUV accidentally stuck on South Anchorage tracks struck by train

    by Chris Klint on Jul 20, 5:37

    A sport-utility vehicle was struck by an Alaska Railroad train early Thursday in South Anchorage, police said. No injuries were reported in the collision involving a Chevrolet Blazer just before 2 a.m., according to police dispatchers. The wreck occurred at a railroad crossing on Arctic Boulevard just north of Arctic Spur Road. Police spokesman MJ […]

  • Lifestyle

    STDs on the rise in Alaska

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 19, 20:46

    New numbers from the state show sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in Alaska. Alaska already has some of the highest rates in the country. Chlamydia rose half a percent from 2015 to 2016, with about 5,700 new cases reported. Of those cases, 79 percent are from people under the age of 29. Chlamydia […]

  • News

    Assemblyman objects to new shelter downtown

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jul 19, 19:28

    Downtown Assemblyman Christopher Constant said on Wednesday, enough is enough when it comes to putting more services for the homeless downtown. Constant was reacting to a plan to open a new shelter on B Street, also in downtown Anchorage. Anchorage Homeless Coordinator Nancy Burke said the city wants to lease a former halfway house near […]

  • Politics

    Joe Balash gets Federal appointment by Trump administration

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 19, 18:50

    President Trump has nominated a key Alaskan to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Land and Mineral management. Wednesday the Trump administration announced the nomination for Joe Balash, chief of staff to Senator Dan Sullivan to take on the job as Secretary of the Interior, Land and Mineral Management. Senator Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks) praises […]