Facing a global economy growing ever more technologically-based, a national need for scientifically literate citizens has arisen. As a national leader in science education, Hillsborough County Public Schools is well positioned to answer this call through our comprehensive K-12 program. We pride ourselves upon preparing and inspiring the next generation innovators who will directly contribute to the STEM fields through the workforce or postsecondary education. While many initiatives prepare only some students for success, it is important to us and our community that ALL students have equitable experiences and access to science and STEM opportunities. In this spirit, we have created the following vision for our district.
- ALL students will utilize mathematical skill and apply science conceptual understanding in a deeply technical environment to solve real-life problems using engineering principles and design thinking.
- ALL students will be immersed in competitions and events that afford the opportunity to enjoy science, technology, engineering and mathematics while applying concepts learned in the classroom.
Our philosophy to revamp, reimagine and reinvigorate science education in our public schools consists of four “Essential Elements” in support of our vision that encompasses in-school and out-of-school time, as well as platforms for caregivers and community organizations to play a role in the education of our children. These elements include:
- improving instructional practices in science at all grade levels to increase student achievement,
- connecting student learning in the classroom to careers for the 21st century in an effort for students to experience their future,
- building relationships in the community that positively impact student achievement in and appreciation for science, and
- supporting science learning and achievement across multiple settings and environments that afford students the opportunity to apply what they have learned.
To accomplish the tasks set forth, we have assembled an extraordinary team of career professionals in K-12 Science Education to support our community’s children. Each of our leaders is committed to equity and excellence in science education. I trust that you will be as impressed by the team as I am honored to work with them.
Larry R Plank, Ed.S.
Executive Director, K-12 Science Education