Enhanced STEM Curriculum Approved for Irwin Elementary - August 17, 2017

Record Number: 16640
Displayed from: Aug 17, 2017 , until: Oct 17, 2017

The Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees approved a three-year contract with Discovery Education to provide professional learning services and the development of an enhanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum for Irwin Elementary.

Irwin has been the District’s science and math magnet school since the fall of 1989. As a magnet school, students apply to attend through the FWCS school choice lottery. The school has been designated a Four Star School by the Indiana Department of Education several times in the past.

By partnering with Discovery Education, Irwin’s curriculum will be bolstered with additional STEM learning. Students will explore various STEM concepts, including technology and engineering, while in elementary school.

“Fort Wayne Community Schools has long been committed to offering math and science as a focus at Irwin. With Discovery Education, we will enhance that program and deepen the STEM opportunities for students,” Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. “We are continuously looking at how to ensure our programs are relevant for students in the 21st Century, and it was time to recommit to the STEM program at Irwin.”

Fully developing the program at Irwin will take three years. The first year will be establishing the vision and building the foundations for STEM and communicating with students and parents on the changes and expectations of the new curriculum. The next year, the focus will be on building a foundation for project-based learning. In the final year, teachers will deepen their knowledge in teaching the STEM concepts across all subjects and grade levels.

Through project-based learning, students will learn through active participation in order to find solutions to real-world problems. Parents will have opportunities to participate in family events to learn more about STEM education and STEM careers.

“We are excited to bring this to Irwin, and we think the students and parents will appreciate the enhancements made through the partnership with Discovery Education,” Irwin Principal Ingrid Laidroo-Martin said. “The next three years will be busy as we immerse ourselves in this program, and we are ready to get started.”

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.