New Programs Bring First-Ever STEAM Learning Access to Three Magnet Schools
Fort Pierce, Florida – December 13, 2018 – Today, St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) is proud to announce the launch of new science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) and emerging technology programs and makerspaces using LEGO® Education solutions, which include curriculum and professional development, in two of the district’s new magnet schools: Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie (CAST) and Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies (SGAET). Nearly 3,000 kindergarten through high school students will participate in the programs, bringing first-of-its-kind hands-on learning opportunities to students, including those from minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.
The new programs officially launched today with two ribbon cutting ceremonies attended by esteemed members of the St. Lucie community, including Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson and St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent E. Wayne Gent at CAST and SGAET. Community leaders and school officials are thrilled to launch these new programs, which offer customized learning opportunities for all students. “These new programs in collaboration with LEGO Education represent a monumental turning point in the education we’re able to provide our students,” said Gent. “Each program is purposefully built to address minority isolation, address equity and access to STEAM learning pathways, and offer students exceptional hands-on experiences that will help them master STEAM skills to prepare them for college and future careers.”
Two of St. Lucie’s three new magnet schools opened this year after the SLPS was awarded a $12.5 million multi-year federal grant. CAST and SGAET began their transformation in August for the 2018-2019 school year with CAST focusing on the arts, and SGAET focusing on STEM. Fort Pierce Westwood High School will begin infusing new programs with full implementation expected for the 2019-2020 school year, focusing on pre-medical, pharmacy, agri-technology, veterinary and oceanography programs.
“This first-ever district approach to STEAM learning is an incredible opportunity for the students of St. Lucie and LEGO Education will offer a variety of hands-on learning solutions, lessons and professional development to match the diverse curriculums – from fine arts to emerging technologies – of each school,” said Silver McDonald, Head of LEGO Education North America. “Through our partnership, LEGO Education developed custom curriculum for St. Lucie educators and administrators to enrich their students’ education through the skills our solutions help teach: collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity.”
LEGO Education created showcase makerspaces at both magnet schools and worked closely with school leadership to develop custom, standard aligned makerspaces that match the curriculum and pacing of each grade level at each school. In preparation to develop these makerspaces, the team held intensive trainings with teachers and administrators to flesh out the skills, projects, and visions that they had for their classrooms and explored ways they can take the lessons even further to make them more hands-on with LEGO Education solutions. In addition, LEGO Education created a unique form of professional development that included month-long shoulder-to-shoulder training sessions that ensured St. Lucie educators become experts in using LEGO Education solutions to ensure comfortability and success. The LEGO Education solutions being used at each school include a custom Maker and STEAM curriculum along with LEGO Education’s Coding Express, WeDo 2.0 and MINDSTORMS® Education EV3.
About St. Lucie Public Schools:
St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) proudly serves students as the highest-ranking District on the Treasure Coast and fifth in Florida with a graduation rate of 90.1 percent. As a B rated District, there are no failing schools, and SLPS is ranked among the top one-third of Florida’s districts for student achievement. The District also has the distinction of being recognized as one of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work. The mission of SLPS is to ensure all students graduate from safe and caring schools equipped with the knowledge, skills and desire to succeed. For more information, visit http://www.stlucieschools.org.
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