Seven FWCS schools get help with STEM/STEAM initiative

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – More than half a dozen Fort Wayne schools will get upgrades in their science and arts programs. The FWCS Board of School Trustees approved a four-year contract with Discovery Education to help grow the district’s STEM and STEAM programs.

The agreement will cost about $1.6 million. A previously-approved contract with Discovery has already enhanced the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum at Irwin Elementary– the district’s science and math magnet school. The additional contract approved Monday will include Portage Middle School and Wayne High School– the two schools Irwin feeds into.

The district’s fine arts magnet schools will also see a new STEAM (science, technology, engineering arts and math) initiative. Whitney Young Early Childhood Center, Weisser Park Elementary, Memorial Park Middle School and South Side High School will incorporate more STEAM-based concepts into the curriculum.

Discovery Education will help administrators and teachers implement this curriculum that focuses on critical thinking and problem solving.

“The work with Discovery will not create a curriculum that we will be locked into, and may grow outdated over time,” Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Get Nichols said in a press release. “We want to create a learning environment where children are immersed in project-based learning and can adapt to the changing world they will encounter.”

Fully developing the programs will take four years. This year the focus will be establishing a vision, building the foundations for STEM/STEAM and communicating with parents and students about the changes and expectations. The next year will be building a foundation on project-based learning. The third year teachers will deepen their knowledge of teaching the STEM/STEAM concepts. The final year will focus on sustaining the methods.

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