Orange Public Schools
Gerald Fitzhugh, II, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools
- Orange Public Schools
The STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges Recognized by the New Jersey State Board of Education
On Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the NJ State Board of Education recognized the Orange Public Schools for its innovative programming in Career and Technical Education (CTE), Gifted and Talented, & Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in its March monthly meeting. Erskine Glover, the NJDOE's State Director for the Office of Career Readiness, recommended recognizing the STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges' seniors for their 2020-2021 Panel/Capstone presentations. This school year, all grade 12 students were asked to develop Senior Capstone Projects that incorporate a Community Service objective, a formal Research Report that addresses a well-structured research question and review of existing literature, a demonstrable and engineered solution, and a final presentation. For the Panels, students were asked to defend an idea and to provide thoughtful, research-based justification. The Panel allowed students to present their initial research, mentor supports, and literature review in front of a panel of 8-10 judges that assessed their knowledge of their topic and their ability to present and answer questions in real-time.
While all seniors, in groups of 2 - 3 students presented their research and project designs, STEM Innovation Academy students Ashley Clenord, Courtney Simpson, and Diana Mendoza were asked to represent the school and the district at the State BOE meeting for their research that addressed the question: How can biomedical innovations be used to support new patients, particularly young children, in the process of acclimating to a new cochlear implant device?
During the Panels and at the State BOE meeting, the students represented the District well, impressing the audience with their depth of knowledge, research skills, advocacy, and compassion for the education and equity rights of deaf students. Please stay tuned as members of the State Board of Education expressed interest in continuing this conversation with the students and the District.