HOUSTON — Dec. 7, 2016 — The first public school district in Illinois,East Aurora School District 131, is once again blazing new trails — this time, in science education. This fall, East Aurora expanded its STEMscopes NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) implementation from kindergarten to grades 1-8, making it the largest implementation of the digital STEM curriculum in Illinois. Developed byAccelerate Learning™ and Rice University, STEMscopes NGSS is built from the ground up to address the NGSS, which went into effect statewide this fall.
“We were looking to augment our science program to meet the NGSS. We’d been using STEMscopes at the kindergarten level and were very impressed with it, so we decided to expand it to grades 1-8,” said Dr. Carla Johnson, director of curriculum and instruction for East Aurora. “What places STEMscopes above other programs is that it makes science come alive for students. They not only enjoy working on science, but they see its value and relevance in their daily lives. That’s imperative. It’s wonderful to see our students and teachers so excited about a program.”
STEMscopes NGSS provides teacher and student digital resources, supplemental print materials, and hands-on exploration kits that build student engagement and excitement for learning. As with all of Accelerate Learning’s STEM solutions, inquiry-based learning is at the core of STEMscopes. It fosters an understanding of science through meaningful hands-on inquiry-based investigations, so students develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. In addition, the program’s strong vertical alignment develops student expectations across grade levels with parallel lesson design.
“Another benefit is that STEMscopes is also available in Spanish for grades K-5. We have a large bilingual population, so now we can provide the same curriculum in our general education and bilingual education classrooms,” said Johnson. “Plus, having a program that gives students the ability to talk about the intricacies of STEM as early as kindergarten will help them become more advanced in these subjects as they progress through school.”
“We applaud the Aurora district for its dedication to building interest, engagement and achievement in STEM. We are excited that they are committed to building the STEM ‘pipeline’ of students who will be prepared and ready to pursue postsecondary STEM degrees and careers,” said Dr. Vernon Johnson, president and CEO of Accelerate Learning. “By implementing STEMscopes in kindergarten — in English and Spanish — Aurora is ensuring that all its students will gain an early and ever-deepening understanding of how science fits in the world around them.”
About Accelerate Learning
Founded at Rice University, Accelerate Learning has grown from a single product, STEMscopes, to a brand that now offers a variety of curriculum and professional development solutions that support early learning, Next Generation Science Standards, and state-aligned curriculum.
Accelerate Learning has earned recognition as one of District Administration’s Top 100 Products, and from numerous industry programs, including the Digital Innovation and Learning Awards, the Association of American Publishers’ Revere Awards, and EdTech Digest’s Cool Tool Awards.
For more information, visit http://acceleratelearning.com or call toll-free 800-531-0864