Kim Ferrante, an 8th grade U.S. History teacher at Encore Junior and Senior High School in Hesperia, has been actively involved with MEEC for three years. Originally from West Los Angeles, Kim and her family moved to Apple Valley when she was in sixth grade and she has been in the High Desert ever since. Kim began her collegiate journey at Victor Valley Community College. Starting out, she had wanted to become a pastry chef, although things changed after she has spent some time in the business. Inspired by some of her own history teachers, Kim decided to pursue the idea of teaching history herself. She went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree from Cal State San Bernardino and her teaching credential from Brandman University. Kim has been teaching 8th grade for the past five years and enjoys every minute of it. Kim’s school site is working hard to actively integrate Common Core State Standards into their daily routines. In doing so, they have created a cross-curricular environment that allows the merging of a topic within the different subject matters. She has used MEEC’s resource library for just this purpose. “The printed and video resource information on the California and Los Angeles Aqueducts, as well as the NASA information gives us ways to incorporate STEM into all subjects,” said Ferrante. Last summer, Kim participated with a team of her students in MEEC’s Solar Oven Cook-Off Competition. Before the Cook-Off, her teaching team worked together to design a lesson that would incorporate Common Core State Standards and STEM concepts. Kim also brought a team of students to this year’s Youth Environmental Leadership Conference. Her team was inspired by several of the project ideas presented and Kim has already taken back many ideas to other teachers at her school who are currently working on integrating STEM into all of their lesson plans.