Texas’ Richardson Independent School District Selects Discovery Education to Support New STEM Education Initiative

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- Unique Digital Content Combined with Sustained Professional Development to Help Create Vibrant Culture of STEM in Participating Schools -

Silver Spring, Md. (May 16, 2018) – Texas’ Richardson Independent School District (RISD) today announced it has selected Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, to support the district’s new, three year “Future Ready: STEM for All” initiative. In the latest phase of Discovery Education’s approximately 10-year collaboration with the school system, district educators will integrate Discovery Education’s dynamic digital services into classroom instruction across RISD’s 18-school Berkner Feeder Pattern. The introduction of digital resources, coupled with sustained, job-embedded professional development also provided by Discovery Education, will help create a vibrant culture of STEM teaching and learning in participating schools.

Through the “Future Ready: STEM for All” initiative, RISD seeks to transform the Berkner Feeder Pattern’s culture and pedagogy. This initiative features a renewed emphasis on Project-Based Learning (PBL) within instruction which will ensure academic rigor, student engagement, and relevancy across the curriculum. In addition, the added focus on PBL will inspire the creation of STEM-centric cross disciplinary units that will be embedded within the district’s curriculum. RISD’s “Future Ready: STEM for All” initiative is supported by the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) initiative. A statewide public-private initiative, T-STEM is designed to provide Texas students with the knowledge needed to succeed in higher education and the workforce.

RISD educators across the Berkner Feeder Pattern will use Discovery Education’s award-winning Science Techbook, Math Techbook, and Social Studies Techbook, as well as the Discovery Education Streaming Plus and STEM Connect services as core instructional resources supporting the “Future Ready: STEM for All” initiative.

Discovery Education’s Techbooks are award-winning digital textbooks aligned to rigorous standards, supportive of a comprehensive curriculum, and updated regularly at no cost. Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, Discovery Education’s Science Techbook helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists through hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities. Discovery Education’s Math Techbook is a digital textbook that connects students to math through real-world problems, helping all learners develop long-lasting mastery of mathematical concepts. In 2017, Math Techbook was independently verified by EdReports.org to meet the highest levels of mathematical content and pedagogy.

The Social Studies Techbook series uses an inquiry-based instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy, analytical writing, and problem-solving skills that students will apply in the classroom and beyond. Each subject area includes primary source documents and activities, digital investigations, multimedia reference library, interactive maps, and more.

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, they 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 STEM Connect enhances core curriculum and brings STEM to life in classrooms. 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.

“The teachers and administrators of Richardson Independent School District share a commitment to ensuring all of our students connect, learn, grow and succeed.” said RISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Tabitha Branum. “Our deepening partnership with Discovery Education brings dynamic digital resources to the schools participating in the “Future Ready: STEM for All” initiative, which will help them create the rigorous curriculum and innovative learning opportunities that helps build a strong culture of STEM instruction.”

To accelerate integration of dynamic digital resources into classroom instruction, educators from across RISD’s Berkner Feeder Pattern will also participate in a professional development initiative from Discovery Education called STEMFormation. A three-year system for professional learning designed to build and sustain a culture of STEM teaching and learning, STEMFormation helps create a shared STEM vision, develops educators and administrators, cultivates inquiry-based, transdisciplinary instruction, and prepares our future workforce.

“Discovery Education is proud to aid RISD’s efforts to maximize student engagement and strengthen project-based learning” said Phillip Mikula, Director of Educational Partnerships at Discovery Education. “Together, we are creating immersive STEM learning experiences that ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math while nurturing the important skills today’s children need for success beyond graduation.”

The Discovery Education Community will continue assisting RISD’s educators’ efforts to create more personalized learning experiences. This global community of education professionals 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.

For more information about Discovery Education’s Techbook Series, Streaming Plus, STEM Connect, and other 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.

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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.

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