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Moore, Sneed prepare to welcome new grades and new programs

In the first phase of Florence 1 Schools’ transition to a middle school model, Moore Middle School and Sneed Middle School will welcome 6th through 8th-grade students when school starts on August 2nd, 2021. The new grade configuration won’t be the only change: Moore will be launching an innovative STEAM curriculum school-wide while Sneed will be implementing a new STEM program. 

Moore students will explore the many STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) pathways, not only in their electives but also throughout their core curriculum with updated learning spaces and new equipment to support the Project Based Learning approach. New electives like Design and Modeling, World Music, and Flight and Space will offer students a glimpse of the wide-ranging careers based in STEAM.

Classrooms will incorporate drones, 3D clay printers and robotics; the district is also adding iMac computers for students to explore photography with digital cameras and photo editing software, as well as coding and app creation. Students interested in ceramics will be able to channel their creative interests into Sculpting and Pottery electives, firing their creations on-site with the school’s kiln.   

The World Music elective will introduce students to different cultures, rhythms and instruments. Agricultural classes in the John W. Moore Environmental Center will delve into the planting, caretaking and harvesting of fruits and vegetables and other plants.

Community partnerships will also allow for a variety of STEAM learning opportunities for Moore students. Partners include MUSC, STEMU, the USDA, Moore Farms Botanical Garden, Clemson Extension and the Greenwood Genetic Center mobile genetic lab. 

“I am excited for the upcoming changes for the 2021-2022 school year,” said Principal April Leroy. “Our STEAM focus will utilize Project Based Learning as a primary learning experience each day. John W. Moore Middle School’s updated and enhanced STEAM pathways will give students Exposure, Exploration, and Experience in all classes. Teachers, administrators, and community members have worked with a purpose to create a positive learning environment for each student.”

Sneed’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program will prepare students for 21st-century career opportunities by developing creativity and problem-solving skills, encouraging students to engage in teamwork and innovation. To allow ample time for collaboration in the classroom, class periods will be lengthened to 75 minutes. 

Anticipating the new grade configuration at Sneed, the STEM program was designed to take students through a three-year learning pathway, each grade building on the previous year’s STEM experiences. Students will complete comprehensive STEM projects each year that connect STEM principles with all of their grade-level content. A new state-of-the-art STEM lab will give students space to work with 3D printers, robots, and drones.

The number of Project Lead the Way electives has increased to give students a greater introduction to STEM-related careers. New course offerings include Green Architecture, which focuses on eco-friendly construction and sustainable materials, Energy and the Environment, and STEM piloting, where students will learn the basics of aviation.

In Medical Detectives, students will solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs; in Design and Modeling, they will use what they learn about the design and development process to create a therapeutic toy for a student with a disability.

"I am excited and looking forward to the addition of 6th graders to our middle school,” said Principal Bentley Oates. “Sneed Middle School promotes active learning and engages students in numerous elective and extra curriculum choices. Becoming a STEM school allows us to expose our students to different career paths before entering high school. Students attending our STEM school will improve their creativity, empower their critical thinking and be introduced to team collaboration. The STEM program at Sneed Middle School is designed to prepare students for high school, college and the 21st-century workforce. "

Greg Hall, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, said that the 2021-2022 school year will be a fantastic one for students with the convergence of the newly reconfigured Moore and Sneed and the launch of their innovative STEAM and STEM programs.

“I am extremely excited about the first two schools to transition to the middle school configuration, Moore Middle and Sneed Middle,” Hall said. “The STEAM and STEM programs in these two middle schools will have state-of-the-art equipment and learning spaces along with expanded options for students to explore STEAM and STEM electives. Most importantly, the STEAM and STEM content will be interwoven throughout the entire learning experience to really synthesize the curricular focus for these two schools.” 

Florence 1 Schools is pleased to be able to launch our first two traditional middle schools with innovative STEM and STEAM programs that will deliver premier learning experiences with cutting-edge technology and classroom resources never before offered in the Pee Dee region.