Connected STEM classrooms disrupt learning silos for K – 12 students

“The director of the health system has been actively involved in supporting the school,” says Christie Cole, chief education officer at Lincoln Academy. “They need experienced staff, so they want to see nurse assistants come out of the academy.”

In fact, among the 17 specially designed laboratories and Lincoln Academy training facilities, it is a medical service laboratory equipped with a real ambulance. “Along with a training path for the CNA, we have an EMT that teaches our high school and middle school scientists,” Cole says.

The school also includes an agricultural science laboratory with a “farm” wall consisting of vertical pots integrated to grow hydroponic products; innovative lab with 3D printers, heat presses, vacuum molders and vinyl cutters; recording studio with green screen and sound booth; and a pair of computer labs where students learn about cybersecurity, encryption, and IT.

Lincoln Academy has even received a grant from Microsoft Philanthropies to support its computer science program and to allow students to graduate with an IT specialist certificate, a Technology and Literacy Education Grants grant in schools.

“We also built a room, which we call Chrome Depot,” Cole says, “where students learn how to repair their Chromebooks.”

Taken together, the 115,000-square-foot Lincoln Academy looks like it could be part of a college campus or technology startup center: windows everywhere, moving walls, flat displays everywhere, shared technology and group study rooms ( too much). such as today’s corporate meeting places).

“We’ve created a place where our scientists can see what’s going on, feel they’re part of the action, and are excited about the study,” Cole says.

WATCH THE VIDEO: 3D printers and hydroponics build the confidence of students with disabilities.

K-12 STEM training is evolving along with technology

Lincoln Academy is not only committed to providing its students with innovative STEM classrooms. More and more schools are using new technology to make STEM training more realistic for students, which is good for the future STEM workforce.

“After the pandemic, schools have more connectivity and access to technology than ever before, which was a silver lining for STEM education,” said Carolyn Sikora, senior director of standardization programs at the International Society for Technology in Education. “The impact of technology on laboratories is significant. This will help bring more practical and hands-on learning to schools. ”

Sikora says STEM education was very slow before schools adopted more technology. “Students were doing an activity, but it wasn’t related to any other content,” he says.

Sykora says new approaches to project studies have changed it. Thus, it has access to digital information sets and collaboration systems that bring real experts to schools. “The class, as far as I know, developed a project to protect oyster populations at Bay Chesapeake in Maryland, worked with data from a local nonprofit organization and developed a computational mindset to determine where to build oyster castles,” Sikora said. “This is where STEM learning moves: to problem solving, experience, practice and hands-on learning.”

On a recent school day at Lincoln Academy, technology director Mark Anderson helped students solve problems using technology tools that students may not have had access to years ago. “We had a problem in the robotics lab that solved some of the problems that were forcing their bots to connect to their Chromebooks,” Anderson said. “It’s amazing what they do.”

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