Jasper Jr. High School has earned the distinction of being a Cognia Internationally Certified STEM School! The announcement comes after nearly two years of rigorous preparation and a two-day site visit this week from the Cognia team.
After being named a STEM certified school early Wednesday afternoon, Jasper Jr. High Principal Lutis Moore called the school's seventh- and eight-grade students to the auditorium to share the achievement. He appeared rather frustrated and carried a paddle as he started giving a speech to students, but in seconds he started smiling and surprised them with the good news.
"It's a significant mark of distinction for us and selected schools that have received this honor," Moore said.
Assistant Principal Amy O'Rear said the path toward certification is challenging. Only 250 schools worldwide are international STEM certified, and fewer than 30 schools in the state of Alabama have received the honor. Furthermore, even fewer junior high school have been STEM certified.
Jasper Jr. High has been implementing STEM activities into classroom instruction that challenges students to think critically and work in a group setting. Every member of the student body is also involved in a club activity, with many of the clubs being STEM driven.
The principal commented, "Our hope is that we're creating a pipeline for the kids that go to Jasper High School to go and excel just like they're excelling here," Moore said. "I'm really proud of our teachers, faculty and staff and our kids. This is huge for our community and is huge for the state, too."