Fort Mill schools are 'Full S.T.E.A.M. ahead' with 21st-century curriculum

All 16 schools in the Fort Mill area are pushing more science and technology based learning, hoping to help kids be ready for careers in the 21st century.

It used to be that reading, writing, and arithmetic were the keys to academic success, now one local school district is full S.T.E.A.M. ahead.

This year, Fort Mill schools will become the first in South Carolina and the second in the entire country to roll out S.T.E.A.M. based curriculum district wide.

"No matter where you go to school, no matter what grade level you are in," says assistant superintendent Marty McGinn.

Thursday, ever teacher in the district attended training sessions for the official science, technology, engineering, arts and math kick-off.

The district formed educational partnerships with Discovery Education, as well as the business community.

Rob Warren, Vice President of Education Partnerships for Discovery says a district-wide roll-out is challenging, and yet exciting.

"How can we provide the right opportunities for them and understanding where these kids strengths are at a very early age, but most importantly knowing that there are career opportunities for them beyond high school and beyond college

McGinn says they've heard feedback from parents that S.T.E.A.M. education is what they want for their kids.

The district decided to "pull together all the right things going on in our schools into one unified strategy," she says.

Each school will have a S.T.E.A.M. ambassador and learning leaders.

McGinn believes the programs will expand organically through teacher-to-teacher training and plenty of material support.

Warren says the curriculum will focus on the skills in demand now, and the jobs of tomorrow.

"We want our kids to think critically, we want them to be effective communicators, we want them to be collaborators, that's the real world we live in," Warren says. "When you talk to business leaders that's exactly what they want for the work force of tomorrow."

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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