On February 5, 2015 during Ohio Department of Education’s Straight A Innovation Expo, Geauga County ESC leaders mingled with state legislators and showcased their progress on the establishment of iSTEM Geauga Early College High School, a new STEM school that will open its doors this fall. The school is being funded through a $5.9 million dollar Straight A Fund grant.
Legislators were able to see architectural renderings of the new iSTEM classrooms, which will feature movable furniture and adjustable spaces to accommodate a creative and flexible learning atmosphere. “We want iSTEM to provide students with a very personalized experience. Our facility’s design will enable teachers to be very creative in how they set up and use the classroom spaces. We will also have a variety of shared spaces for students to use as they collaborate around real world problems,” says ESC Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Allen. The bidding process will open this month and renovations should begin early March.
The team also shared presentation and printed materials that capture the essence of iSTEM’s instructional design. Students at iSTEM will learn by doing, designing and collaborating. Classes will employ problem-based learning and students will have access to a new Quest Lab where they can use innovative technology to help them design solutions.
As part of the Straight A Grant and shared services model, Auburn Career Center is able to equip their new Quest Lab with state-of-the-art 3-D printers, laser engraver, printer cutter, flatbed printer, and CNC machine. iSTEM teachers and students will have direct access to these resources for students to create and design solutions for real world problems and demonstrate their learning of academic content. Students from Auburn Career Center demonstrated the capabilities of the equipment for the legislators.
The Ohio Department of Education hosted the Straight A Innovation EXPO at the Atrium, Rotunda and South Hearing Hall to showcase innovative ideas, achievements and best practices implemented by Straight A grant recipients. Students, educators, legislators and industry leaders attended to learn about more than 40 innovative projects happening around the state.
iSTEM Geauga Early College High School is currently enrolling students for the inaugural 2015-2016 class. For more information, visit www.istemghs.org or follow updates on Twitter @istemghs.