Place-based learning is at its best when students' academic pursuits engage the greater community. Alabama's Winterboro High School epitomizes this synergy with its Digital Learning Day.
Funded in part by a 2016-17 Grants in Place award of $1,000 to Winterboro High School technology integration specialist Emily Nestor, the all-day, student-led event showcased a variety of student projects in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (a.k.a. STEAM). According to the Daily Home, Winterboro High senior Jason Geise remarked, "This is learning in the 21st Century. I love the hands-on learning. It has really helped broaden my horizons when it comes to computers and technology."
Nestor provided the following update on her project:
"STEAM is in full swing at WHS! We spent the first semester providing our teachers with professional development on STEAM and allowing our students to explore different areas of STEAM. We felt as though this was an important component to our project since we want our teachers and students to be part of planning and conducting our Family STEAM nights! "
She added, "We are truly excited and can't wait to dive in with our parents! Thank you again for helping us increase our parental involvement!"
The Rural Schools Collaborative supported more than 50 teachers in last year's grant round, including nine projects in the State of Alabama. Funding for the Alabama projects was made possible with support from the Alabama Education Association and the Parker Griffith Family Foundation in Huntsville. We also want to thank our Alabama advocates, Larry Lee and University of West Alabama's Dr. Jan Miller, for the continued leadership.
The Rural School Collaborative is currently accepting proposals for its 2017-18 Grants in Place effort. The application deadline is April 15th.
Below: Winterboro High School students who led the Digital Learning Day program.