File:SnowflakePiner High STEM Updates- December 2014File:Snowflake

GIS Day at Finley Center: GTP Students organized and administered this yearly event where over 200 elementary school students attended to learn more about Geospatial technology.  Activities included a geocache course where students use Trimble GPS Data Collectors to find candy caches.  They also experienced a map contest and gallery, a Sonoma County Water Agency mapping activity, and the Santa Rosa Police Command Center Van, Petaluma Fire, and a 3-D scanning demonstration.  16 Piner High GIS Level 2 and 3 students ran the activities.  They spread the word about Geospatial Technology during this 6 hour event.  Mr. Kruger says it all when he exclaimed…”They did an amazing job !.”  This is GTP's 5th year of involvement and they event just keeps getting bigger and better !

 Piner High as a STEM school joined the Nation in exploring the Hour of code promoted as part of Computer Science Week. On campus we had over 9 teachers participate with their classes to engage at least 500 of our students in activities such as drag & drop computer programming Angry Birds or joining Elsa and Anna to create snowflakes and patterns. No worries if you missed the date, the fun still goes on at . Our STEM teachers are designing curriculum in Algebra, Computer Science and Physical Science to be piloted this year and officially launched in 2015.Sonoma_State_University_Logo.gif

The Sonoma State Computer Engineering department continues the fun when they visit our campus in January to reveal a student showcase of projects- keep your eyes on the Marquee for updates !HAND31.jpg


Students in our MESA chapter are eagerly working on The Prosthetic Arm Challenge that involves the development of a low-cost prosthetic device to complete a set of pre-defined tasks. Mr. Alexander is working with his students to research, design, build and test these devices. MESA is dedicated to giving students extra support in Math and Science to encourage  underrepresented students to enroll in STEM programs for college.

Design Thinking- This cutting edge problem solving protocol was introduced images

to Medical Biology students as they uncovered the Health and Medical issues that interfere with success at Piner High. Next steps included developing empathy, ideating solutions and choosing one to prototype and present to an authentic audience of community members. Both teachers and students thought the process innovative, innervating and sometimes exhaustive. See what we did at the blog site -

Save the Dates ! Our STEM Cafe is set for the spring and its amazing ! Thursdays 7 pm

Check out our website at

Date of Cafe’



January 15

Dr. Dennis Mangan- CDC

Microbiome- The Bacteria that Inhabit our body

February 12

Dr, Daniel Crocker- SSU

Elephant Seal Biology

March 12

Dr. Christine Chung- Mills College

Aging and Memory

April 9

Mary Barsony, SETI Institute

Astronomy- Planetarium will be in action !

April  23: tentative

Student STEM symposium

STEM certificate Level 3 present their research

Certificate Updates- This program is open to all students willing to do some extracurricular work in Science Technology Engineering & Math...and write about it for their STEM portfolio. Here is how you can get involved - in January we will start to have monthly meetings to assist STEM students of all levels. Additional information, forms and updates can be found at  STEM (1).jpg

Level I: Write up your STEM cafe experience- a science related field trip- or a STEM speaker ( such as Scott Serena from SRPD with his Forensics workshop)- A template for the write up is on our STEM certificate website- . One of the important parts to this write up is to find a primary research article to provide insight into scientific endeavors in this field. We recommend Google scholar as a good place to start as well as a STEM teacher ( Math, Science, Computer, MAKE )

Level II: After a community STEM interaction- such as HSB/GTP internship/job shadow, presenting your CAMEOS research at Bodega Marine Lab, a First light teach experience or PHAST planetarium shows- write up your experience and explore the S.T.E.M behind your endeavor

Level III: Independent Design or Research project- there is a specific protocol to guide you with your adviser as the go to person here ! We have generated funds from our Site council and the generous John Jordan Educational Foundation to finance student projects. We have the following ventures underway-

Students will present results at our STEM symposium currently slated for late April - all will be invited.

The STEM certificate is a unique way to recognize the incredible diversity of STEM opportunities at Piner High- once students complete these levels ( in any order ) they will present their portfolio to a STEM steering committee where upon they will receive transcript recognition, graduation bling, an impressive group letter of recommendation and our capstone- 

              early admission preview for a STEM major at SSU !

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Interested in getting started ! Listen up for January meeting dates and make sure to sign up for the SSU STEM field trip February 26- your STEM teacher has the details

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MAKE- This year we have two MAKE classes - that challenge students to design and create a variety of projects. MAKE I has just finished their Balsa gliders and put them to the flight test- great news ! They all survived..some may live to fly again ! MAKE II continues their work on Full tube chassis dune buggy crafting and collaborating - trial and error with the prototype- an awesome design project.

Common Core Network: This district committee of teachers and administrators oversees the implementation of our Common Core standards which will focus on skills for our students to survive in the 21st century. Recent developments include increasing the wireless networks on SRCS campus from 30% to 65 % by years end !  Bring it !