Of the 33 elementary schools in HCPS, 8 have participated as pilot schools. Pilot schools are where each STE unit within the SySTEmic Project is taught one year prior to full implementation in the district (i.e., during the pilot year), enabling the pilot teachers to provide feedback on the STE unit prior to full implementation. The pilot schools represent a diversity of size, socio-economic status and ethnicity of the student body, and geographic location within the district.
Classroom and enrichment teachers who are involved in the project receive approximately 6 hours of professional development for each STE unit. Enrichment teachers at each school site in which the project is piloted are involved to support and enhance classroom instruction. Dr. Lottero-Perdue provides professional development for all pilot year classroom and enrichment teachers. SySTEmic Project master teachers—i.e., those who have taught an STE-unit in the pilot year and are interested in teaching teachers—provide professional development for the full implementation year.
In-depth interviews and teacher surveys during the first full year of the project (2009-2010) have helped project leaders assess the health of the project throughout implementation, and have served as a basis for educational research so that the lessons learned from this project can be shared with others nationally.
Funding sources for the project, thus far:
HCPS was also awarded $100,000.00 from the Maryland State Department of Education for their "Greengineering" Project (Principle Investigator: Mr. Mark Herzog, HCPS), which is related to, enhances, and extends the work of The SySTEmic Elementary Engineering Project in the 5th through 8th grades. Dr. Lottero-Perdue is involved in the Greengineering Project as an engineering education consultant.
Additional funding to support of the SySTEmic Project is continually being sought.