i2 Learning Partners with Newark Public Schools and Boston for Annual STEM Weeks
1 Week, 21 Schools, 2,000 Students Immersed in STEM
[Newark, NJ – June 1, 2018] ––Newark Public Schools (NPS) and i2 Learning will officially launch Newark STEM WEEK 2018 on Monday, June 4, at 13th Avenue School in Newark. This is the second year that NPS and i2 Learning are partnering to engage students in an immersive week of STEM exploration and project design. STEM Week will expose nearly 2,000 middle school students across 21 NPS schools to a variety of STEM-centered, hands-on learning experiences from June 4 – 8. The week will culminate with a showcase of STEM projects at Ridge Street School on Friday, June 8, at 2 p.m.
“Newark Public Schools is excited to continue our partnership with i2 Learning and launch the 2018 STEM Week,” said A. Robert Gregory, Interim Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “We are making major investments in STEM education across the district in order to prepare our students for what continues to be one of the largest career development areas for graduates. We look forward to working with i2 Learning to expose our students to new and exciting learning opportunities in STEM and seeing the amazing things our students and teachers will learn and produce in the days ahead.”
During Newark STEM Week regularly scheduled classes will be replaced by one of two hands-on, project-based STEM courses, Exploring Ecological Systems or Building a Lunar Colony, developed by i2 Learning and leading STEM organizations such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and NASA. Each week-long course is designed to have students work in teams to solve real-world problems through activities that require hands-on experimentation and critical thinking skills, according to Ethan Berman, founder of i2 Learning.
“These STEM opportunities are incredibly important and meaningful for Newark students,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “While we of course can’t solve all of our problems in one week, by exposing students to new things, getting them excited about STEM, and showing them that we are committed to STEM as an entire city and community, we can change their sense of possibility and put them on a different trajectory in life.”
The Newark STEM week initiative debuted last year with i2 Learning. “We are very grateful for the opportunity to partner with i2 Learning again to bring this high quality learning experience to our students,” said Ivory Williams, Director of Science Education at Newark Public Schools. “This year’s STEM Week’s courses were selected to complement our newly adopted middle school science curriculum and to build upon our other exciting STEM partnerships. We believe the combination of these efforts will be a major step forward for Newark students, helping to make a career in a STEM field a more accessible reality for each of them.”
Additionally, through the district’s partnership with i2 Learning, NPS teachers were able to participate in a two-day i2 Learning training encompassing hands-on, inquiry-based STEM instruction earlier this year. The i2 Learning professional development workshop provided teachers with project-based learning instructional strategies that will enable them to engage and inspire students, and foster a 21st century learning environment in their classrooms during, and beyond, STEM Week.
“We are excited to be working with teachers from 21 different Newark schools to bring our program to 2,000 middle school students this school year.” said Ethan Berman, founder of i2 Learning. “We applaud the forward thinking of the Superintendent’s office to provide this innovative learning to the district. We can’t wait to see the projects students produce this week and are looking forward even more to bringing this to all Newark students in the coming years.”
Newark STEM Week and the professional development workshops for teachers are being funded in part through support from the Victoria Foundation and i2 Learning. To learn more about the program and see a full list of participating schools, courses and more, please visit http://i2learning.org/newark/ and follow along on Facebook and Twitter.