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Fort Wayne Community Schools to add STEM/STEAM initiatives

January 10th, 2018

By Alex Brown | Inside INdiana Business

Fort Wayne Community Schools is looking to boost STEM learning throughout the district. The Board of School of Trustees has approved a four-year contract with Maryland-based Discovery Education to provide professional learning services and develop a project-based and inquiry-based system at seven schools.

In a news release Tuesday, the district says the contract adds onto a previous deal with Discovery Education to update and enhance the STEM curriculum at Irwin Elementary, the district's science and math magnet school. The new contract adds Portage Middle School and Wayne High School, into which Irwin feeds, to provide STEM instruction beyond elementary schools.

Additionally, the contract calls for Discovery Education to implement a STEAM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, initiative in the district's fine arts magnet schools, which will include technology and engineering used in 21st century musical and theatrical performances, as well as graphic arts and design. The schools include Whitney Young Early Childhood Center, Weisser Park Elementary School, Memorial Park Middle School and South Side High School.

FWCS says the goal is to teach students how to think critically and solve problems.

"The work with Discovery will not create a curriculum that we will be locked into and may become outdated over time," said Get Nichols, assistant superintendent of elementary education at FWCS. "We want to create a learning environment where children are immersed in project-based learning and can adapt to the changing world they will encounter."

The district says it will take four years to fully develop the programs, beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year. You can learn more about the initiatives by clicking here.