Starting in the 2019-2020 School Year, Gervais Elementary School (GES) will be beginning a multi-year process of adopting a STE(A)M identity and philosophy.  STE(A)M is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points for everything we’ll do academically (including reading).

Why? I fundamentally believe that the 21st-century skills that our students will need, such as student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking, is effectively done through the lens of a STE(A)M-based education.   Furthermore, I am convinced that in order for GES students to arrive at highest possible levels of academic growth and achievement, we need to increase classroom engagement.  I again believe is most effectively done through a STE(A)M-based education.

Part of this work is partnering with both the Portland Metro STEM Partnership ( and the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership (  These unique groups help Oregon students reach their education goals by increasing the access, excitement and engagement of students in STEM courses and experiential learning.  We are THRILLED to work with both STEM Hubs in bringing their expertise and resources to help GES students.

We already have some STE(A)M elements in place:

This we are currently discussing:

  • Converting part of the school library into a MakerSpace (
  • An afterschool art club
  • Integrating STE(A)M elements into our everyday reading, writing, and math curriculums.

If you are a parent or community member who would like to be on our school “STE(A)M Team” and help us create out STE(A)M identity and philosophy, please call the office and ask to speak with Dr. Helms.

More on this soon!  Thanks!


Dr. Helms

GES Principal