History

In August 2011, students entered the STEM Academy at Booker T. Washington for the first time. In this 21st Century global economy, an education with a STEM focus is a vital step towards providing students with the necessary technical literacy to enable them to access exciting careers of the future. Booker T. Washington STEM Academy will provide a supportive environment at an early stage for the students who attend the school and will build cumulative competencies in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


Our Mission

We empower students to think critically, reflectively, and apply their knowledge and skills to a greater context. Students experience unique opportunities for STEM education with rigorous and relevant hands-on investigations through inquiry-based instruction, integrated curriculum, and collaboration.

Parent-Teacher Association

We are pleased to have a supportive and highly active PTA. The work of the PTA has been to support our teachers and students in providing the best learning environment possible. The PTA membership has been responsible for many contributions, including Family Nights, monetary contributions to teachers for learning activities, and a STEM Open House.

School Climate

Students follow the Booker T. Washington Three: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Ready. Those rules are posted in all areas and the staff works collaboratively to keep standards high for behavioral and academic performance. We believe in teaching behavioral expectations and have implemented a school-wide community circle time that lends itself to this instruction.

Enrichment

All Booker T. Washington students receive weekly enrichment opportunities available in the school's STEM Lab. This learning is supported through a STEM Instructional Specialist as well as existing community partnerships with the University of Illinois and others. Additionally, all 3rd through 5th grade students receive weekly enrichment lessons that are aligned to the common core standards and designed to strengthen students' self-identity with activities centered on citizenship, leadership, decision-making, and multiculturalism. These lessons employ a variety of engaging learning strategies with the goal of deepening student's understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Key Features

  • Integrated curriculum focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Strong emphasis on Music and Art Education
  • A working partnership with the University of Illinois
  • Inquiry-based learning promoting student engagement and critical thinking
  • A new building designed for STEM instruction
  • Student practice in real world problem solving following the BTW Science and Engineering Design Process Model
  • Technology-rich classrooms including both PC and Apple platforms
  • Student engagement in the analytical process found in engineering and mathematics
  • Teachers specially trained in STEM education
  • A STEM Teaching Specialist collaborating and co-teaching with classroom teachers and University of Illinois faculty and students to design innovative STEM Lab lessons
  • Students learning in a collaborate atmosphere
  • Student opportunities to produce multimedia presentations that utilize state-of-the-art technology

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2015 Magnet School of Excellence
  • 2014 Illinois Social Worker of the Year: Heidi Grove
  • 2013 James D. MacConnell Award for the Councel of Educational Facility Planners International
  • 2013 ISBE Those Who Excel Awards: Alyssa Mayer, Unit 4 Magnet Team
  • 2013 ISTA New Science Teacher fo the Year: Elizabeth Dabrowski
  • 2012-13 Presentations at National Conferences: Illinois Science Teachers' Association, National Science Teachers of America STEM Expo, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and Magnet Schools of America
  • 2015 ISTA New Science Teacher of the Year: Kevin Frederick