- Unique Combination of Digital Content and Sustained Professional Learning to Support Educators’ Efforts to Build Dynamic STEM Learning Environments -
Silver Spring, Md. (August 14, 2018) – Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish Schools (EBR) today launched a new STEM initiative in partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In this new collaboration, Discovery Education will support EBR’s educators with award-winning digital content and sustained professional learning that will help them develop a culture of STEM teaching and learning that fosters project-based learning opportunities for students at Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School and Park Elementary School.
The second largest school system in the state of Louisiana, EBR’s 3,757 educators serve a diverse population of over 42,000 students and are committed to making the district an innovative and globally-competitive educational choice for all families. As part of this effort, district educators have for years integrated Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas provided by Louisiana Public Broadcasting, into classroom instruction.
EBR’s new STEM initiative is the school system’s latest effort to provide all students a comprehensive and rigorous academic curriculum that builds workforce and college preparedness and cultivates an appreciation for knowledge. By leveraging cutting-edge digital services and participating in sustained, job-embedded professional learning opportunities, district educators will create a culture of STEM education that features authentic digital learning environments and offers relevant project-based learning opportunities that meet the newly adopted Louisiana Science Standards and connects students to future careers.
This school year, educators in the two schools participating in this initiative will begin integrating Discovery Education’s STEM Connect into classroom activities. A cutting-edge, web-based, interdisciplinary K-8 supplemental resource built on a 4Cs STEM skills framework, STEM Connect helps students develop the creative, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills they need for success beyond graduation. Featuring flexible, modular learning units, STEM Connect provides students an easy-to-follow educational experience that includes real-world challenges, career connections, and hands-on activities.
Educators in Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School and Park Elementary School will also be empowered with Discovery Education’s Science Techbook. 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.
Educators at both schools will also participate in the capacity building model. Participation in STEM Leader Corps’ professional learning opportunities supports the adoption of new strategies and best practices for building and sustaining a culture of STEM in schools and guides EBR’s educators as they master new STEM instructional approaches. With a focus on developing high-quality STEM instruction, creating interdisciplinary lessons and units, and vertically aligning STEM education district-wide, this initiative provides the robust professional development, job-embedded coaching, and administrative leadership support necessary to create centers of STEM excellence. In addition, STEM Leader Corps will also help EBR’s educators integrate Discovery Education’s digital content services deeper into classroom instruction.
“We are excited to be supported by Discovery Education as we work toward our goal of creating inclusive, dynamic STEM teaching and learning environments for our students,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Schools’ Superintendent Warren Drake. “The East Baton Rouge Parish Schools seek to ensure all our students are motivated to become high achievers prepared for the demands of the 21 Century workforce, and we believe this new collaboration will help us make this possible.”
During this initiative, all EBR educators districtwide will continue to be supported by the Discovery Education Community. 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 proud to work side-by-side with East Baton Rouge Parish Schools’ team as they accelerate their STEM education journey,” said Dr. Jason Sinquefield, Director of Education Partnerships at Discovery Education. “Superintendent Drake and his colleagues have created a tremendous strategy for boosting STEM education in the district, and we are excited to be a part of this amazing initiative empowering teachers to create STEM learning environments that will engage and educate the district’s young learners.”
For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, 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 and Pinterest.
About Discovery Education
As the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery Inc., 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. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.