Researchers Without Borders
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University of Chicago
Partnerships to Support K-12 STEM Teaching and Learning
Webinar 2: School Partnerships - K-12 Schools and STEM Industry and Business
The second webinar in our series will focus on partnerships between K-12 schools and STEM industry and business at the A.J. Wittenberg Elementary School of Engineering and the Center for Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) at Paradise Valley High School. The A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering is the most technologically advanced elementary school in Greenville County. The innovation is apparent in many ways – from its downtown location on the Reedy River, to the partnership with the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center, to the learning emphasis as an engineering school and it is the first elementary school in South Carolina with a school-wide engineering curriculum. The school is named for A.J. Whittenberg, a pioneer for civil rights who is best known for his stand on the integration of Greenville County Schools.
The Center for Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) is a four year program of studies focusing on the practical application of knowledge and work place competency skills in three areas of scientific research; Engineering, Biotechnology and Sustainability. The school is located on the campus of Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix, Arizona. High school students from the Paradise Valley Unified School District as well as across the north valley of Maricopa County enroll to participate in a focused curriculum of study accompanied by a complete array of honors-AP courses, college and dual enrollment classes, electives, and traditional school activities. This unique school, housed in a newly constructed (2010) green building, was initiated with funding from a City of Phoenix block grant to support small learning communities focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) initiatives. The goals of the school are supported by several university and business partnerships that will enhance the curriculum and provide relevant learning opportunities for students.
Partnerships are often identified as a key element of effective STEM education. Schools that emphasize STEM collaborate with business and industry, higher education, and a range of community-based organizations to provide students with unique opportunities to see STEM in action and experiences that help them understand that learning about STEM is interesting, relevant, and achievable. School partners play a range of roles in support of schools specifically designated as “STEM” schools, and other schools that emphasize STEM teaching and learning. Partners, school leaders and teachers collaborate to shape experiences within and outside of the classroom, providing exposure to and experiences with STEM applications, STEM-focused careers, and the skills necessary to succeed in the future.
This webinar series will focus on a range of partnerships that support K-12 STEM teaching and learning. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with each other and with the varied webinar presenters from K-12 schools, industry, community organizations, and higher education. The series will highlight different models for establishing, implementing, and sustaining partnerships. Presenters will discuss the biggest challenges and greatest rewards, as well as their measures of success. This series will not only expose practitioners to a range of school partnerships, it will also provide an open space for participants to discuss their own STEM-focused school partnerships and to facilitate collaboration among individuals across sectors, disciplines, and academic institutions.
For more information about the series, see the RWB events page.
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