-Unique Combination of Digital Resources and Sustained Professional Development to Support Educators’ Efforts to Create Culture of STEAM Teaching and Learning -
Silver Spring, MD. (July 26, 2017) – South Carolina’s Fort Mill School District (FMSD) announced today the selection of Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, as their new partner in creating a culture of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education districtwide. Through a unique combination of dynamic digital resources and sustained, job embedded, professional development, this new collaboration will ignite a consistent, sustainable, inquiry-based and transdisciplinary approach to STEAM education across the school system.
This new relationship directly support’s the school district’s Strategic Plan, which provides the framework through which FMSD will achieve its vison of providing each child an innovative, personalized, rigorous education that empowers all students to achieve their greatest success. In addition, FMSD’s new partnership with Discovery Education supports the district’s belief that programs, personnel and curriculum should be selected with students’ best interests in mind.
To create the dynamic digital learning environments that support FMSD’s vision for STEAM education, the district will, at the beginning of the school year, empower all teachers and students to bring the real world into teaching and learning with Discovery Education Streaming Plus. At the same time, all teachers and students in grades K-8 will begin using Discovery Education’s award-winning Science Techbook™ to experience real-world scientific concepts.
Discovery Education Streaming Plus is a comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas that helps build students’ mastery in interpreting, understanding, and evaluating information across all subject areas. Students can access a variety of digital assets including images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, books on tape, articles, videos, and more, then are empowered to become content creators with a suite of content creation tools that help teachers and students safely and easily collaborate in real-time on virtual projects. Teacher resources include lesson plans, instructional strategies, and content collections organized around themes, as well as a collection of new STEM resources designed to fuel a cultural shift in teaching and learning.
Discovery Education’s Science Techbook series empowers educators to transform science instruction. Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate (5E) model, each Science Techbook includes rich, standards-aligned content such as video, audio, text, interactives with hands-on activities, and virtual labs that help educators differentiate instruction and provide a rich and engaging learning experience for students. Additional student features include bilingual text-to-speech and leveled reading tools, and note-taking and highlighting capabilities.
The Science Techbooks series also includes valuable STEM/STEAM resources as well. STEM Project Starters encourage students to connect math, technology, and engineering to their understanding of science concepts to produce creative solutions to real world problems. In addition, the STEM In Action resources helps students connect their work to STEM careers, which promotes a clearer understanding of how skills used in school can be applied to jobs “in the real world.” Embedded formative assessment opportunities that help educators monitor student progress are embedded into each Techbook, and like all Discovery Education digital textbooks, the Science Techbooks work on any device and can be implemented in any instructional setting.
As building an environment that facilitates exceptional teaching is among the four goals of the Fort Mill School Strategic Plan, approximately 50 administrators and 72 educators will participate in a STEAM professional development initiative delivered by Discovery Education’s expert professional development staff. This capacity building effort will help administrators and teachers strengthen and sustain a culture of STEAM in their schools and guide them as they master new STEAM instructional approaches. With a focus on developing high-quality STEAM instruction, creating interdisciplinary lessons and units, and vertically aligning STEAM education school-wide, this initiative provides the robust professional development, job-embedded coaching, and administrative leadership support necessary to create centers of STEAM excellence.
“The Fort Mill School District believes that a strong grounding in STEAM provides students a foundation upon which success can be built in any future academic or career endeavor,” said Dr. Chuck Epps, Fort Mill School District Superintendent. “We believe our collaboration with Discovery Education will create a vibrate culture of STEAM that will help prepare all students for college, career, and citizenship.”
In addition to receiving access to Discovery Education’s dynamic digital content and robust professional development, the Discovery Education Communitywill support FMSD educators’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with dynamic digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.
“Discovery Education is honored to be part of Fort Mill Schools’ effort to create STEAM-focused learning environments,” said Anna Strassner, Education Partnerships Manager at Discovery Education. “We look forward to working closely with Dr. Epps and his talented team as we implement Fort Mill Schools District’s ambitious plan for providing all students exciting STEAM-based learning opportunities.”
For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content services and professional development resources, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram andPinterest.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.