STEM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. Sometimes, we also refer to it as STEAM, with the "A" incorporating the Arts. Students will take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem­ solving, embrace collaboration, and work through  the creative process.

    What is STEM at CFES?

    STEM will be hands­ on learning that is fun and focused on agriculture! Learning will include project based instruction that will encourage students to be problem ­solvers in the real world. The engineering design process shown below is a guide for problem ­solving and continuous improvement. This important process will be integrated into all subject areas during the school year. CFES has three common spaces that support each step of the Engineering Design Process and students will use those spaces and resources to work on projects and challenges. Grade level and school level projects such as composting and gardening will be a unique hands on learning experience. 

    All Grade Levels Will Focus On:

    • Agriculture: Schoolwide composting and the CFES Garden
    • Hydroponics 
    • Using the Engineering Design Process
    • Utilizing all CFES common spaces for classroom, grade level, and schoolwide challenges
    • Integrating STEM into all subject areas
    • Project based instruction
    • Focus on student led problem­ solving and critical thinking 

    Learning Design Process

    Using the Learning Design Process, teachers help guide students through the engineering design process. Professional development opportunities help to support teachers in designing classroom engineering challenges and activities.  CFES has three common spaces that allow students to work through the Learning Design Process.  The Media Center, the Makerspace, and the STEAM lab all support various parts of the process and allow students to work independently, as a group, and as a class.  The common spaces also allow for students to go back through the Learning Design Process so that there is always improvement. 

    Engineering Design Process


    Agricultural Focus


    Colham Ferry Elementary School is located in an agriculturally-based community.  We feel our studetns must make real world connetions with their physical environment to understand how our community apples Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.


    How can you help?

    Students must build a foundation of critical thinking, problem­ solving, and creativity to compete for future STEAM careers.  We would like to utilize our  community resources and give students positive experiences that promote real world  connections. We encourage any CFES stakeholders who have experience in the STEAM disciplines to contact the Colham Ferry main office. CFES is always looking for partners outside the school to help with demonstrations, presentations, classroom visits, sharing expertise with teachers, and/or a resource donation.