Partnership brings STEM to physical education classes

VCU SOE students teach STEM classes to RPS students

By Justin Mattingly, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 804-649-6012

Photo Credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Through a partnership between Richmond Public Schools and Virginia Commonwealth University, students learn a STEM lesson during PE class at J.L. Francis Elementary. Photo credit: Justin Mattingly/Richmond Times-Dispatch

A VCU School of Education service-learning class was featured in the Dec. 1 Richmond Times-Dispatch article, "Next revolution for health comes to Richmond Public Schools gym classes."

The article highlights the partnership between Assistant Professor Misti Wajciechowski’s TEDU 390 service-learning class and Richmond Public Schools (RPS). As part of the partnership, 64 VCU students work in seven elementary schools, teaching STEM lessons to close to 500 students during their physical education classes. Piloted this Fall, the partnership received a Service-Learning Grant from the Division of Community Engagement.


Justin Baber, a senior in the VCU School of Education who transferred from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, said teaching the STEM lessons reaffirmed his path and a desire to find more fulfilment than his current government job affords.

“The textbooks just can’t keep up to date with how the kids are learning,” Baber said. “Being out here helps us experience that.”

The participating schools — J.L. Francis, Ginter Park, Mary Munford, Overby-Sheppard, Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts, Swansboro and Westover Hills — hope to continue integrating the STEM lessons into their everyday units.

“This is the next revolution for health in PE,” said Stefanie Ramsey, the health and physical education, driver education and athletics instructional specialist with RPS.

Read the full Times-Dispatch article