Chesnut Elementary is proud to have the distinction of earning AdvancED STEM Certification.

This certification recognizes that our STEM educational programs have met the rigor and substance vital to creating and sustaining superior, student-centered STEM teaching and learning programs. We are committed to preparing our learners for the careers of tomorrow by continuing to foster and perpetuate their enthusiasm for STEM disciplines today. Our focus on STEM, demonstrates our continued commitment to Chesnut’s mission.

At Chesnut, we understand the importance of integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education across the curriculum. Not only does a STEM curriculum teach our children how to innovate and think critically, it prepares them to meet life’s challenges with determination.

STEM is based on an Engineering Design Model. Our students follow a series of problem-solving steps that require them to design a solution to a problem within a set of constrained parameters. They then evaluate their solution for effectiveness, adjust, retest, analyze, and repeat, until they meet the challenge. STEM activities teach that a setback is a normal part of a work-in-progress, because students are encouraged to learn from their previous efforts and apply those lessons until they succeed. This is the attitude of tomorrow’s strategic inventors, motivated managers, successful research scientists and business leaders.

Chesnut holds monthly CEO (Chesnut Engineering Opportunity) Days, annual STEM Nights, and integrated lessons. Our STEM curriculum is designed to increase science, math, engineering, and technology skills in our population.

School wide, we have implemented activities such as:

  • Designing plant structures in kindergarten
  • Constructing insulation to mimic animal adaptations in 1st grade
  • Designing model watercraft for buoyancy in 2nd grade
  • Creating structurally sound buildings in 3rd grade
  • Creating and modifying instruments to alter the sounds in 4th grade
  • Extracting and testing genetic material in 5th grade

While STEM is also integrated into the classroom, every student in grades Kindergarten through 5 visit Chesnut’s STEM Lab once a week. There, children work independently as well as collaboratively. There are laptops for each child, Legos, a Promethean board, science kits and a variety of manipulatives. We also welcome corporate and institutional partners to our STEM Lab. They share real-life experiences on how STEM applies in their line of work, often working on a related STEM project with the students.

Hands-on science, math and Farm to School lessons also occur year-round in Chesnut’s outdoor learning facilities, including:  Chesnut Garden, Math Pie Garden, Rain barrels, Certified Wildlife Habitat, Pollinator Garden and outdoor classrooms.

For more about STEM, please contact our Curriculum & Instruction Action Team Chair, Ms. Williams, at