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Colorado Elementary Schools Excited to Open New STEM Center

Swanson and Thompson Elementary schools in Arvada, Colorado, opened two new STEM Centers with great excitement this month. 

The SmartLabs will provide students with the opportunity to learn the many essential skills they will need to succeed in the future workforce.

Shannon Feely, Digital Teacher Librarian, told the students in the grand opening ceremony that their STEM skills could lead to a cure for cancer, an end to cyber bullying and a new way to protect oceans from pollution, thus empowering them to do great things. Teachers are already seeing big benefits, their students are becoming risk-takers and collaborators.

Students at these JeffCo Public Schools are equally excited, with many students voicing feelings of freedom, self-expression and exploration. Little do they know, this program will become a pathway for them to attain the required skills necessary for an unknown future economy.

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Soft Skill Development is Essential: Students Aren't Ready for the Workforce

Teacher, Trevor Muir, wrote a blog on a thought-provoking topic; soft-skills are not necessarily “soft”, they should be called “essential skills”. To support that, 5 of the main reasons millennials get fired is due to lacking these essential skills. 

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Florida Needs More Proficient STEM Workers

In 2010, The Florida Chamber of Commerce announced the need to improve Florida's STEM education program. A study from WalletHub compared their STEM-related economy to all states in the country. Florida has been making strides in the right direction since 2010 but is still slipping. The  Florida foundation reported declines in the number of advanced science and engineering degrees.
 
“While the economy calls for a larger and more proficient STEM workforce, enrollment and success in those courses is declining,” 
 

Many economic sectors such as energy, healthcare, transportation and manufacturing need high quality workers for the high paying jobs of the future. "We encourage our leaders to see the dividends and to continue building on our gains."

While it is fantastic that Florida is continuing to make strides in STEM, still, they need to do more to handle the needs of the future economy. What produces STEM workers for those high paying careers listed above? STEM Education produces high quality workers for high paying careers. Needing more STEM workers is one thing, but needing more proficient STEM workers is strenuous, something not even the best teachers and schools can handle and sustain on their own.

That's where we come in. We work with you to create the best program for your needs and goals. Our all inclusive programs allow you to have the program your students deserve where students enjoy coming to class and learn next generation skills for next generation careers. Our STEM environments (called SmartLabs) are the talk of the town and create such a magical learning environment that you truly have to see to believe.

Read the full article about Florida here!
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Oklahoma High School Students Shining in Innovative STEM Program

Inola High School, in Oklahoma, is one of the many area schools with a SmartLab sponsored by MidAmerica Industrial Park (MAIP). They recently made a great video showcasing the students' experiences in their STEM program. Students in the video say they they've gained more problem solving skills, self-discipline, trial and error experience, and are able to shine more in the STEM environment than in the traditional classroom. But don't take our word for it, watch their video below. 
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STEM Class and Music Class Unite in This STREAM Project

Saint Joseph's Episcopal School is a Creative Learning Systems customer in Florida. They made this amazing video showing how they integrated their fifth grade STEM class with their music class. In the SmartLab, the students learned circuity, coding, and engineering and then they applied what they learned to make their own instruments work through circuitry and coding.

This is one example of the endless possibilities of fun and learning that takes place in a SmartLab when learning is integrated with other traditional classes. Pretty cool, right?

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How a California Catholic School Engages Middle School Students Through STEM Education Program

Saint Junipero Serra Catholic School made a great video showcasing their  SmartLab. Their SmartLab caters to all learners of all abilities from grades K-8 with hands-on STEM learning. The students are working with cutting-edge technologies so they will be able to learn whatever technology comes their way in their future careers. What students learn in the SmartLab is  reinforced and integrated in CORE classes. Students work together on projects to enhance their collaboration and communication skills so they can be ready for the workplace.
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University Takes Fresh Approach to STEM Education For Future Teachers

The University of Jamestown’s newly installed SmartLab is bringing STEM education into the mix of their Teacher Education Department. As a required course, future teachers become fully certified STEM lab facilitators, something they can boast on their resume after graduation. In an interview with Dr. Leann Nelson, the Teacher Education Department chair, says that none of these future teachers will “teach” in the STEM lab, they allow the students to take responsibility of their next generation learning. Nelson says, “the SmartLab is where students explore STEM and media arts through applied technology and project-based learning”. Nelson further explains how the students can develop something in a fully integrated learning environment that includes furniture, technology, curriculum and assessment to support hands on and minds on learning with up to date technology. Nelson says there is a growing need for technology education.

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North Dakota Partnership Brings STEM Education to Rural Schools

The North Dakota Center for Distance Education (NDCDE) is partnering with Creative Learning Systems(CLS) to bring STEM centers and STEAM programs into rural schools. Over the last two years CLS and NDCDE have worked together to launch twelve programs in rural North Dakota schools. Plans for similar STEM programs in other ND schools are currently in development. These programs bring next-generation STEM education to students. As a result, students all over North Dakota have the opportunity to explore leading-edge technologies while building critical 21st century skills.

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New STEAM Education Labs in Southern California Catholic School

What's a SmartLab? Director of Technology, Beth Thomas, described them as "Learning playgrounds for the students." 

St. Junipero Serra Catholic School in Rancho Margarita, California held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new SmartLab STEAM centers at the beginning of the month. The newly built Student Creation and Leadership Center at Junipero Serra features a STEAM lab for elementary students and a STEAM lab for middle school students. 

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Elementary STEAM Teacher Named STEAM Educator of the Year!

Heather Gibson, Facilitator at Prairie Wind Elementary School in Gillette Wyoming, has been named STEAM Elementary Educator of the Year by the Wyoming Department of Education. 

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