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2021 FOCUS

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SmartLabs

The Next Step in Learning

SmartLabs engage ALL learners in a hands-on, project based approach in which Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines are integrated. In a SmartLab, learning is highly personalized and empowers students to shape their learning to meet their individual interests, abilities, and learning styles. In a world where STEM disciplines are critical to all jobs, fields of study, careers, and even home life, it's essential that every student has equitable access to and a strong foundation in STEM.

​SmartLabs contribute to the development of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, effective application of technology and creativity. These skills are needed for success in the modern workplace. Balancing traditional academics with the development of these skills is one of the biggest challenges facing educators today. New approaches are needed and SmartLabs provide a fresh approach.

Providing Equitable Access

When a SmartLab is implemented, all students at a school have access through rotation scheduling. By making SmartLab learning available and providing equitable access District-wide, it levels the playing field. All students including those with disabilities, students underserved in STEM subjects, and English language learners are given a chance to develop the skills and confidence needed for life beyond the classroom. SmartLabs provide a wealth of learning opportunities that would otherwise not be possible for so many District 6 students.

Access for Every Student

Provides entry points for all students, regardless of learning style, ability or interest

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Supports Individual Learners

Effective teaching practices support students of different backgrounds

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Relevant Learning

Encourages students to apply core concepts to a variety of situations and contexts relevant to them

District 6 and the Success Foundation have identified four strategic goals around SmartLabs to ensure all students have access to this technology:

  1. Implement SmartLabs at all elementary, middle, and K-8 schools by 2024

  2. Match SmartLab learning with practical application through field trips, industry tours, and guest speakers

  3. Help to launch students into career pathway programs in our high schools (33 pathways currently available)

  4. Utilize to educate parents and families about learning and career opportunities

Aligning with District 6 Strategic Plan

Innovation 2030

Removes
Barriers

and provides equitable access for all students, and increases engagement across multiple subject areas

Creates a
Continuum

from elementary to middle to high schools for student post-secondary goals

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Supports
Personal Learning

experiences, preparing students for college and career

Assists
Parents

in knowing about career pathway options and focus areas of district high schools

Provides Career Exploration

and awareness opportunities for elementary and middle school students

Data at a Glance

79%

The percentage of STEM job growth in the U.S. since 1990.

63%

Gain in student achievement seen through a project-based approach to learning

$87K

Median Salary

in STEM

Median annual salary for STEM jobs in the U.S.

8%

Rate of

Improvement

Rate of improvement on science assessment as a result of project-based learning

Stem Job

Growth

Gain in Achievement

Success Stories