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MHY's Longmore Academy Introduces STEM

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Lincoln Learning Solutions is helping MHY Family Services write a new chapter in its ongoing mission to provide educational support to at-risk children.

In August of 2020, Lincoln Learning awarded a sizeable grant to MHY Family Services earmarked for the introduction of a formal STEM program at Longmore Academy.

According to Amy Smith, Director of Development at MHY, this grant, coupled with Lincoln’s 2019 donation of Chromebooks, curriculum, digital library access, and professional development, helped the staff at Longmore introduce students to STEM last school year.

The impact of this program in its first year was impressive,” Smith said. “The participating students who were struggling with significant behavioral health issues began to thrive educationally when introduced to the STEM curriculum. We saw a boost in confidence, greater attendance, and leadership skills develop.”

When students returned to school on Aug. 23, 2021, they found a new, interactive STEM classroom waiting for them.

Smith explained the new classroom will be a collaborative workspace inside Longmore Academy. It will serve as a creative space where students can explore, invent, tinker, and strengthen their independent thinking skills.

“This room is a place where hands-on creativity is key and students own their own learning,” Smith said.

Christine Raymond, Director of Education at MHY, said she and her staff are excited about the learning opportunities the STEM classroom will bring.

“This room is the go-to mode of instruction,” Raymond said. “When the students walk into a room with brand new everything, it’s exciting.”

Smith added that the space will provide students with the opportunity to be innovative during individual and group work.

“The space is designed to accommodate a wide variety of learning opportunities,” Smith said. “Students will be able to see how things are made by taking items apart, putting them back together, and making improvements or adjustments to construction.”

To incorporate the arts into the new program, Raymond said the English, art, and music teachers will work collaboratively to create projects that reinforce creativity, as well as problem-solving and self-discovery skills.

Longmore hired a dedicated STEM teacher to oversee the STEM elective class at Longmore Academy. The staff was able to purchase STEM learning tools, including magnets, scales, beakers, Brackitz building block kits, and EV3 Lego Robotics Kits, in addition to STEM curriculum materials.


The new STEM room also features updated ergonomic seating for students, dry-erase desks for both students and teachers, STEM kits, and organizational storage carts.

“Through the oversight of the STEM teacher and collaboration with Longmore teachers across content areas, 250 to 300 students in all grade levels will potentially be exposed to age-appropriate content, including robotics, coding, 3D printing, computer programming, and engineering,” Smith said.

“We’re really excited,” Raymond noted. “With the onset of COVID-19 last year and social distancing, we still want students to have hands-on exploration. We don’t want them to miss out on the opportunity to drive their own learning, and this class will help with that.”

One week into the school year, Raymond is already seeing a positive response from students.

“Students are teaching one another,” Raymond said. “Self-discovery has been meaningful, as they are trying new ways to accomplish tasks.”