HICKORY, North Carolina (August 9, 2017) – Catawba County School District, Rutherford County School District, Polk County School District, Alexander County School District, and Newton Conover City Schools, in conjunction with STEM West in North Carolina, have been awarded Gizmos Science Success Grants by ExploreLearning for the 2017-2018 school year. The concentration of the grant awardees in western NC is a result of the regional efforts in STEM education through STEM West, the educational arm of Workforce Development of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments. The estimated value of this regional effort is approximately $125,000 in training and online access for the year.
These five Gizmos Science Success Grants will enable these districts to develop and implement inquiry-based instructional methods that will increase science teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom. The program incorporates professional development and Gizmos interactive simulations to promote students’ deep conceptual understanding in STEM disciplines. Through this grant, students in the districts will be using Gizmos in science classes for one year.
ExploreLearning Gizmos are interactive online simulations that help students develop a deep understanding of challenging science and math concepts through inquiry and exploration. Using Gizmos, students can manipulate variables, generate and test hypotheses, and engage in extensive “what-if” experimentation. Research has consistently shown simulations to be powerful tools for improving student learning.
“We’re excited to work with ExploreLearning on our push for effective STEM solutions in our schools,” says Carol Moore, Director of STEM West. “Gizmos are inquiry-based and the simulations make experimenting in the classroom quicker, safer and more effective. Paired with hands-on experimentation, Gizmos allow further exploration and save time in the classroom.”
Teachers in Newton-Conover City will start their Gizmos training on August 18, Alexander County on August 23, and Catawba County on August 25, with more training dates to follow this fall.
ExploreLearning develops online solutions to improve student learning in math and science.
ExploreLearning currently has two products: Gizmos, the world's largest library of interactive, online simulations for math and science in grades 3-12; and Reflex, the most powerful solution available for math fact fluency development. Gizmos and Reflex bring research-proven instructional strategies to classrooms around the world. ExploreLearning is a Charlottesville, VA-based business unit of Cambium Learning Group, Inc.
About STEM West
Housed at the Western Piedmont Council of Governments and supporting seven school systems, STEM West’s mission is to “advocate and support the alignment of education and occupational objectives through the regional workforce and community partnerships.”