STEM conference

Freda Hicks

Principal @ Perry Harrison Elementary School

Presentation Title: Raising the bar for young engineers

Abstract: Teaching critical thinking skills in a 21st century environment has its challenges. We want our students to think outside the box, but we continually give them a box. Using the engineering design process, we have not only increased critical thinking skills in all academic subjects but have increased the engagement level of our students overall. Participants will be introduced to how one school implemented the Engineering Design Process PreK-5th grade. Beginner to advanced strategies will be given to all to implement school wide or grade level specific. Strategies include starting a Discover Lab and carving out time in the school schedule to fully implement a quality program. Perry Harrison has implemented and integrated EDP for the last five years. During that time students have won the traditional Science Fair over the last three years.

Biography: Freda Hicks is currently the principal of Perry Harrison Elementary School in Pittsboro, NC. She has been principal of the STEM-focused school for over five years. She is a graduate of Shaw University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Hicks has worked in Nash, Orange and Chatham Counties in NC. Ms. Hicks is a believer in STEM education for young students and the power of the critical thinking skills and creativity it fosters in children.