Venerini Academy began its partnership with The STEM Education Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2017 by participating in ongoing high-quality professional development offerings both at the college and in Academy classrooms. The partnership continued to expand after the Academy applied for and was selected intoWPI’s signature program: STEM Integration for Education Leaders. This program guides and supports participating teams in the process of developing a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan for STEM/STREAM integration across grade levels. 

Programs offered by the WPI partnership are hands-on experiences and follow cooperative learning pedagogy, introduce project-based learning, utilize the engineering design process, and provide a challenging learning environment in science, engineering, and math practices in conjunction with digital literacy that encourage students to pursue inquiries and solve problems that are relevant to the world in which they live. In addition, all professional development through WPI is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Massachusetts STE Framework. The Academy’s continued partnership with WPI will provide staff multiple opportunities for collaborative work across grade levels to develop a strong and consistent STREAM program as well as a rigorous curriculum along with time for reflective discussion and the sharing/modeling of research-based teaching techniques and strategies.