STEM Lab at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy


STEM Education

Champaign Unit 4 School District is committed to providing all students exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields through innovative partnerships, programs, professional development for teachers, and courses of study. 

Booker T. Washington STEM Academy

Booker T. Washington STEM Academy is a magnet elementary school serving grades K-5. The $16 million school facility opened in 2011 and was constructed with STEM education in mind. The school is also LEED Gold certified, and has won a number of architectural awards, including the international James D. MacConnell Award from the Council of Educatoinal Facilities Planners International. In this 21st Century global economy, an education with a STEM focus is a vital step towards providing students with the necessary technical literacy to enable them to access exciting careers of the future. Booker T. Washington STEM Academy provides a supportive environment at an early stage for the students who attend the school and will build cumulative competencies in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The school accomplishes these goals by partnering closely with the University of Illinois and other key community partners. 

Key features of our magnet program include:

  • Integrated curriculum focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • A working partnership with the University of Illinois
  • Inquiry based learning promoting student engagement and critical thinking
  • A new building designed for STEM instruction
  • Technology rich classrooms including both PC and Apple platforms
  • Student engagement in the analytical process found in engineering and mathematics
  • Teachers specially trained in STEM education
  • A STEM Teaching Specialist collaborating and co-teaching with classroom teachers and University of Illinois faculty and students to design innovative STEM Lab lessons
  • Students learning in a collaborative atmosphere
  • Student opportunities to produce multimedia presentations that utilize state-of-the-art techno

EnLiST Grant

Unit 4 Schools are a partner in the Entrepreneurial Leadership in STEM Teaching and Learning (EnLiST) program. The EnLiST program is designed to provide such opportunities for K-12 science teachers. Funded by the National Science Foundation, EnLiST is a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana School District #116, Champaign Unit 4 School District, and Thornton High School District #205. In Unit 4 Schools, teachers District-wide have received extensive professional development in STEM fields through Summer Institutes and students across the District have experienced educational opportunities such as flying drones, working with polymers, studying entomology, and experiencing flipped Calculus classrooms. To learn more, please visit the EnLiST Grant website