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Full STEAM Ahead: How Fort Mill Schools Instills Engagement and Passion

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Sometimes being on top isn’t enough.

In 2017, Fort Mill School District in South Carolina became the top-rated district in the state, garnering national acclaim for its students’ academic achievements, and being named to The College Board’s AP District Honor Roll. But the district’s leaders knew they could reach even greater heights. The challenge was – how can they get there?

When it underwent its AdvancED accreditation in 2017, the district had every right to expect great results. So when officials got the accreditation report back, they were surprised to find one small note of discord: Student engagement, while satisfactory, was lower than administrators wanted.

“It was not where we wanted to be as compared to our normally high achievement results,” says Marty McGinn, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and human resources.

At the time, district officials were in the process of reexamining their curriculum, mostly to make sure students were college and career ready according to the state’s Profile of the Graduate.

When officials considered the engagement of their students, as well as the recognition that various schools were offering different STEM activities, only one choice addressed all these issues. The choice—to increase offerings in STEAM topics—was quickly agreed upon. STEAM refers to the basic STEM topics, science, technology, engineering, and math, with the arts included.

But even administrators couldn’t have guessed how well the changes would be accepted both inside and outside their classrooms. In just the first year of the district’s shift in focus, the effort has been well received by students, the school board, and especially teachers.

“We had a lot of STEAM activities going on here and there,” says McGinn of the district’s 16 schools. “But we’re a growing district, and we needed something that could bring everyone to the table.”

BUILDING STEAM

After mapping where district leaders knew they needed to be, they had to decide how to get there, which meant weighing the options for programs to implement and who could help them through this transition. In April 2017, the leaders hosted a strategic planning session.

To provide some guidance, Fort Mill’s leaders invited Cindy Moss, vice president of global STEM initiatives at Discovery Education, to speak with school and district leaders, along with students. Moss envisioned a classroom ecosystem where all teachers and students were immersed in STEM.

“Schools need to provide experiences that allow students to become ‘glocal,’” said Moss. “They should walk outside their school to find local problems and be able to see how their local problems fit into the global scheme of things. Adults should stop just dispensing knowledge and allow students to solve real-world problems.”

Chad Allen, the district’s STEM coordinator, said Moss’ passion filled the room with energy. It became the ignition for their STEAM engine.

“After she spoke, our students said, ‘We need our teachers to teach like that,’” said Allen. “We did not expect that strong of a reaction from our students, but they were immediately engaged.”

MANAGING RAPID GROWTH

Fort Mill’s move to emphasize STEAM topics districtwide was initially complicated by the district’s tremendous growth. In just 15 years, the district, located in a town of 50 square miles, has grown from fewer than 6,000 students to more than 15,000. In that time, two new high schools were opened, and the district hired new teachers to compensate for the growth in student population.

Despite this growth spurt, these sudden changes haven’t had a negative impact on student achievement. Fort Mill remains the top-performing district in South Carolina, with a graduation rate of 94 percent—12 percentage points higher than the state average. Also, 85 percent of its graduates went on to a two- or four-year college, well above the state’s average rate of 71 percent.

But these changes did emphasize for district leaders the need for a unified curriculum, said McGinn. Redistricting has shuffled both students and teachers to different schools, so streamlining the curriculum made it easier for both groups to change addresses without losing ground.

“Our superintendent continues to say, ‘It doesn’t matter which school you go to in Fort Mill—they are all equally excellent,’” said McGinn.

SEEING STEAM IN ACTION

In order to better formulate their goals, Fort Mill officials visited Santa Rosa County District Schools in Florida to see how it integrates STEAM activities into its everyday education.

In recent years, Santa Rosa has emerged as an international leader in STEAM education. Its students have continued to show promise after embarking in 2015 on a five-year strategic partnership with Discovery Education called STEAM Innovate!, where educators receive intensive professional learning and job-embedded coaching. Santa Rosa’s classrooms have become STEAM-infused learning environments, with lessons that nurture student achievement and critical 21st-century learning skills.

“We were struck by the common language and the common vision,” McGinn says. “Everybody moves in the same direction, from the district office to the classroom. It inspired us.”

Now, Fort Mill was moving with purpose toward a STEAM model, but still had some hills to climb. Leaders knew that they would need a strong professional development basis from which to launch into STEAM, but the district’s central office is slim.

“We believe in funding our schools, but we simply don’t have the capacity to do something like districtwide PD all by ourselves. So we had to find a great solution,” said Allen.

BUILDING A CORPS OF TEACHER LEADERS

Fort Mill partnered with Discovery Education’s STEAM Leader Corps, a comprehensive program that helps scale digital and instructional leadership in school districts. Schools in Fort Mill were already using the company’s Science Techbook digital textbook, and it plans to expand into Discovery Education STEM Connect in the future.

The district’s partnership with Discovery Education has been powerful and unique, said Allen, adding that it was unlike any of his previous experiences with education service providers.

“Discovery Education’s people have been right alongside us every step of the way.

“They’ve invested themselves in the community, they talk to parents at PTO meetings, and they’re involved in planning and designing posters—it’s almost like they work for the district,” said Allen.

Through the Leader Corps, Fort Mill’s educators are being prepared for effective STEAM instruction and establishing a team of teacher leaders that will help drive systemwide change.

“Having a clear professional development structure for implementing STEAM is important to focus our efforts to achieve our goals,” said McGinn. “It also fosters communication and collaboration within and between our schools.”

Initially, the district sought volunteers to start, asking for eight teachers at its high schools and four at each middle and elementary school. McGinn wasn’t sure that many teachers would be interested, But the opposite proved true. More teachers applied than they could immediately use. While those not chosen were disappointed, the district has included them on trips to conferences and other schools to see STEAM activities in person to prime them for the future.

The training took a strategic approach, beginning with principals, says McGinn.

“Principal leadership is so vital. If the administration doesn’t understand what teachers need, such as time for planning and collaborating, it’s hard to support them,” she said.

Now, one year into the four-year STEAM Leader Corps program, teachers are beginning to showcase the effects of their training, said Allen.

He can tell teachers are embracing the new methods when he hears them discussing STEAM concepts in side conversations in the hallways. They’re also active on their own Twitter hashtag, #FM21STEAM where they regularly share their accomplishments.

“Some of those who came out of this process surprised us, and they’re surprising themselves,” he said. “These teachers are starting to demonstrate their skills as leaders. They’re stepping up and responding to the extra autonomy they’re being given.”

These teachers will lead model classrooms for others, organically growing the STEAM initiative internally throughout the district. And more leaders are being added each year.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s exciting work,” McGinn said.

WHAT STEAM LOOKS LIKE IN FORT MILL SCHOOLS

Teachers are learning how to create project-based learning lessons that meet the district’s standards, she says. Once teachers immerse themselves in using units from STEM Connect, they will better understand how to create their own interactive units.

In classrooms throughout the district, a combination of project-based learning and student-centered teaching can be seen in full practice. In place of stand-and-deliver instruction, students are empowered to be at the core of their classrooms, leading their own explorations in learning.

“We’ve seen the level of student engagement increase in our schools. They’re doing more rigorous work, and there is more creativity on display,” said Allen. “We had 400 people show up for one of our student-led district art shows recently. That was huge for them.”

Also emerging are STEAM-based lessons grounded in real-world issues. Springfield Middle School students embarked on a service-based learning exercise recently while studying what life is like for those living in refugee camps. To provide context for the lesson, they left the classroom behind and went outdoors.

They crossed a river, and using the limited materials they’d carried with them, built their own tents and spent some time in the wilderness.

They experienced a small taste of the life of those without homes of their own. Beyond the hands-on learning experience, it’s an exercise in communicating the power of compassion, said Allen.

“The definition of caring comes from understanding someone else’s perspective. When you design solutions, you’re trying to think of how people will experience that,” said Allen.

“I think giving kids a firsthand account of life experiences really helps them understand what it is they’re learning.”

Another major shift is on the teacher’s side of things. They’re encouraged to experiment with new ideas in the classroom and not be afraid of failure.

“If something goes bad, or fails, it’s okay. We’re giving them the freedom to explore. It’s allowed us to open our minds and be more intuitive about how we teach our kids,” said Allen.

New Social and Emotional Learning Initiative from the Dove Self-Esteem Project and Discovery Education Boosts Pre-Teen Confidence

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‘Amazing Me’ Elementary School Initiative Offers Research-Based  Curriculum Resources for Educators, Students, and Families

Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, September 17, 2020)Research finds that 70-80% of girls do not share their opinions or try out for extracurricular activities due to low body confidence. Poor body image also negatively impacts academics, making it difficult to concentrate in class or participate in class discussions. To address this issue, the Dove Self-Esteem Project and Discovery Education present Amazing Me – a new initiative boosting 4th and 5th grade student’s body confidence through no cost digital social and emotional learning resources.

Amazing Me delivers the best in social and emotional learning (SEL), health, and confidence-building content for educators teaching grades 4-5. The new standards-aligned resources are specifically designed for educators and families to build life-long body confidence and self-esteem in students with research-based curriculum supplements.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Discovery Education to expand our Dove Self-Esteem Project curriculum to elementary school children for the first time. Our research tells us that increasingly children’s self-esteem can start to decline and appearance pressures begin from as young as five years’ old, so it’s critical for us to provide educational resources to help young children to boost their self-esteem and body confidence, enabling them to reach their full potential,” said Hannah Burns, Dove Self-Esteem Project Lead USA.

Supporting distance and hybrid learning models, Amazing Me offers a suite of resources for educators and communities, including:

– Family Activities: Empower parents and guardians with interactive digital materials that support a foundation of emotional and physical wellbeing in students’ day-to-day lives.

– Virtual Field Trip: Premiering November 12th, 2020, the Body Positivity Virtual Field Trip (VFT) introduces students to peer stories exploring how to be kinder to themselves and each other.

– And more: Starting Spring 2021, tune in for even more content, including digital lesson bundles covering key topics from standing up to bullying and communication to body image and identity, plus a suite of classroom activities to supplement learning.

“Amazing Me helps kids love themselves and be kind to others,” said Lori McFarling, President of Corporate & Community Partnerships at Discovery Education. “The thoughtful social and emotional learning content designed for anywhere learning catalyzes student’s self-esteem and grows peer-to-peer empathy. With resources like these, kids can construct the confidence needed to succeed and overcome challenges.”

Amazing Me program resources are accessible at AmazingMeSelfEsteem.com and through Discovery Education Experience. Find more about Discovery Education’s social and emotional resources and information in the Wellness channel of Discovery Education Experience.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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Dove Self-Esteem Project
The Dove Self-Esteem Project was created with a mission to help the next generation build a positive relationship with the way they look—helping young people raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential. Dove has reached more than 60 million young people globally with body confidence and self-esteem education since 2004; and together, we can reach even more.  Our goal is to reach ¼ of a Billion by 2030. We’ve partnered with leading experts in the fields of psychology, health, and body image to create a program of evidence-based resources, including parenting advice, to help young people form healthy friendships, overcome body image issues, and be their best selves. Learn more about the Dove Self-Esteem project and download resources at dove.com/selfesteem.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.

Contacts
Grace Maliska | Discovery Education | gmaliska@discoveryed.com

2 Ky school systems select Discovery Education to support STEM, STEAM instruction

Two Kentucky School Systems Select Discovery Education to Support STEM and STEAM Instruction

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Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, September 16, 2020) — Two Kentucky school systems—Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) and the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS)—recently selected Discovery Education to support STEM/STEAM education in their school districts. Through these two new partnerships, Discovery Education will help educators in FCPS’s RISE Academy and JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence nurture the growth of STEM cultures within these all-female schools  that help students develop the creative, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills needed for success in classrooms, online, or in the hybrid environment. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

A brand new school opening in the 2020-2021 school year, FCPS’s Rise STEM Academy will support young women as they explore science, technology, engineering, and math during their formative years so that each student may more eagerly embrace STEM career pathways. JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence is dedicated to empowering, activating, and illuminating academic excellence in every girl through an Afrocentric and gender-specific STEAM curriculum.

While in different school systems, both schools sought a complete STEM/STEAM solution that combined sustained professional learning and high-quality digital resources in a way that would nurture and develop a culture of STEM teaching and learning.  In addition, each school wanted a solution that presented a holistic, research-based approach to STEM/STEAM that offered participating educators a strong support structure.  Following a rigorous review, both schools selected Discovery Education’s comprehensive STEM program and Teacher Leader Collaborative (TLC) professional development support.  In FCPS’s RISE Academy, educators in grades K-2 will participate in the TLC, and in JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence, educators in grade 6 will utilize the TLC.

A system to scale professional learning and leadership, Discovery Education’s Teacher Leader Collaborative combines robust STEM professional learning opportunities, job-embedded instructional support for teachers, and Discovery Education’s exclusive STEM Instructional Progression to drive instructional growth. Teacher Leader Collaborative’s professional learning resources prepare educators to implement a problem-driven approach to learning supported by high-quality, standards-based STEM digital and cross-curricular resources, including Discovery Education STEM Connect, Discovery Education Experience and Science TechbookSTEM Connect is a web-based, interdisciplinary K-8 supplemental STEM resource and Experience is Discovery Education’s flexible K-12 digital learning platform.  Built on the 5E model, Science Techbook is a digital science textbook that provides exciting multimedia, virtual activities and hands-on labs with model lessons, STEM project starters, and standard-aligned assessments teachers need to immerse students in science in any teaching environment.

“At a school devoted to STEM, developing an atmosphere that prizes communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking is of paramount importance,” said Dr. Soraya Matthews, Director of Teaching, Learning, and Innovative Programs, Fayette County Public Schools.  “Our new partnership with Discovery Education and the introduction of the Teacher Leader Collaborative into the Rise Academy will play a central role in helping create the environment for learning we know is conducive for STEM instruction.”

“The Grace James Academy of Excellence sees its partnership with Discovery Education as foundational,” said Ronda Cosby, Principal of the Grace James Academy.  “The resources within the Teacher Leader Collaborative will open a new world of opportunities for our students and teachers, and create a space where girls can see hope for the future in STEAM careers.”

In addition, educators participating in the Teacher Leader Collaborative from both schools will have access to the Discovery Education Community. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.

“The entire team at Discovery Education is excited to support the educators and students at   RISE Academy and Grace James Academy of Excellence on the incredible journey they are undertaking,” said Dr. Catherine Lawless, Discovery Education’s Manager of Education Partnerships. “The unique combination of digital resources and professional learning included in the Teacher Leader Collaborative will help educators introduce the young women in those two schools to wonderful world of STEM and STEAM education.”

For more information about FCPS’s RISE Academy visit this website, and for more information on JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence, visit this website.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

Contact:

Discovery Education
Stephen Wakefield
Email: swakefield@discoveryed.com
Phone: (202) 316-6615

NGM partners with department of education on digital learning

Discovery Education Experience Updates Tailored to Support Students and Educators for Remote, Hybrid, or In-Person Learning

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Silver Spring, Md. (Tuesday, September 15, 2020)  Discovery Education–the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources and professional learning for K-12 classrooms–today introduced updates to the award-winning Discovery Education Experience platform designed to support educators and students in distance and hybrid learning environments. The updates focus on increasing functionality, capability, and personalization for all users.  

Experience, Discovery Education’s flexible K-12 learning platform, connects educators to a vast collection of compelling high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, and professional learning resources vetted by Discovery Education’s expert content team. Together, these resources give educators everything they need to facilitate instruction in any learning environment and create lasting educational impact.  

Now, teachers and students can take advantage of new features inside Studio, the embedded creation and collaboration tool, as well as ready-to-use SOS instructional strategies templates, a reimagined Professional Learning Center, and comprehensive English Language Learner (ELL) Center. Learn more about each update below: 

Studio Redesign and SOS Instructional Strategies Templates 
The Discovery Education Experience powerful Studio tool has been completely rebuilt with features that continue helping educators engage students and add flexibility to remote, hybrid, and in-class teaching and learning. These updates to the in-product authoring tool let teachers and students build content Boards and new Studio Slideshows to create their own lessons and presentations, search and bring resources directly inline from across Discovery Education, and safely create and collaborate in one dynamic platform. 

Educators can get started with new SOS templates that incorporate these ever-popular strategies into grab-and-go digital lesson activities or start from scratch to add content and elements like gifs and emojis that fit the interests of their students. Additionally, new Studio Quizzes empower educators with the ability to easily assign content, check for understanding, increase differentiation for groups or per student, and monitor student progress wherever learning is taking place. 

Professional Learning Center 
To continue building educator capacity and confidence, the Discovery Education Professional Learning Center has been reimagined with pathways for teachers and leaders that meet them wherever they are on their digital education journey. The informative step-by-step guides, strategies, and Hot Topics are now accessible in curated channel format. 

English Language Learner Center   
Only available to Discovery Education Experience partners, the new English Language Learner (ELL) Center provides additional professional learning, instructional support, and relevant content connections for educators to differentiate learning for these ELL students in and out of the classroom. Educators can find ready-to-use instructional strategies templates and engaging, relevant content collections to incorporate into lessons, including Virtual Field Trips, podcasts, audiobooks, and native language support. 

Along with these important updates, the Discovery Education team continues adding, contextualizing, and organizing exciting new content and timely resources to Experience each month in response to current events and the ever-evolving needs of educators. These resources, sourced from trusted partners, reviewed, and curated by Discovery Education’s team of content experts and aligned to state and national standards, help educators bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day. 

Finally, Experience works within school systems’ existing infrastructure and workflows. Through expanded partnerships with Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, and Clever, integrating Experience into existing IT architecture is easier than ever. 

With these key updates to Experience, our teachers and students now have even more accessible learning content at their fingertips,” said Rhonda Parmer, Associate Superintendent Campus Development at Pasadena Independent School District. “I feel confident in our ability to keep students connected to learning, no matter the changes that may arise. 

Iteration and adaptation are key aspects of good teaching, and are qualities built into Discovery Education Experience,” said Discovery Education President of K-12 Education Scott Kinney. “Each change made to our content reflects the direct input and needs of educators and students across the country. Discovery Education is proud to support education wherever learning is taking place.” 

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagramand Pinterest. 

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About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com. 

Contacts
Discovery Education
Stephen Wakefield
Email: swakefield@discoveryed.com
Phone: (202) 316-6615 

5 Ways to Develop Teacher Agency and Advance Student Learning

Nevada Department of Education and Nevada Gold Mines Partner to Expand Access to High-Quality Digital Learning Content through Discovery Education

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Nevada Gold Mines invested $2.2 million to provide students, educators, and families with access to Discovery Education’s instructional resources

This press release was originally distributed by the Nevada Department of Education. You can find the Nevada Department of Education’s online version here.

CARSON CITY, NV and SILVER SPRING, MD (Thursday, September 10, 2020) – Nevada Gold Mines operated by Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) (TSX: ABX) today announced a $2.2 million investment in digital education in partnership with Discovery Education and the Nevada Department of Education.

The two-year partnership will ensure public school educators and students statewide receive access to Discovery Education Experience, the award-winning, flexible K-12 platform that keeps students connected to learning whether at home or at school. Discovery Education is a global leader in standards-based, high-quality digital curriculum resources for K-12 classrooms.

Discovery Education Experience provides compelling content, ready-to-use digital lessons, unique collaboration tools, and professional learning resources that give educators everything they need to create lasting educational impact. In addition, K-12 students will receive access to dynamic career resources developed by Discovery Education in collaboration with Nevada Gold Mines. These career resources will include hands-on experiences for students and their families that support the exploration of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.

“As a Nevada company, we believe in taking care of our own. In a time of big changes for education, Nevada Gold Mines is here to support the students of today through engaging and informative resources that prepare them for the opportunities of tomorrow,” said Greg Walker, Nevada Gold Mines Executive Managing Director. “With this $2.2 million investment in Nevada’s K-12 education, we know that together we can come through this challenging time even stronger.”

“We are grateful for the support of community partners who understand that investing in education is the key to making Nevada a better place to learn, work, and live,” said Jhone Ebert, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This investment continues to build the Nevada Digital Learning Collaborative suite of resources and ensures access to high-quality content for students, educators, and families in every part of our State.”

In July 2020, the Nevada Department of Education announced the initial agreement to make Discovery Education Experience accessible to educators, students, and families across the State in a news release here.

The partnership with Discovery Education and the Nevada Department of Education demonstrates Nevada Gold Mines’ long-standing commitment to the state. As a global leader in mining, Nevada Gold Mines directly invests in social and economic opportunities including education, the environment, health, economic development, and cultural heritage.  Additionally, Nevada Gold Mines is committed to educational equity in Nevada by providing access to high-quality instructional materials to all students across the state. Learn more about Nevada Gold Mine’s sustainability and philanthropic efforts here.

“At Discovery Education, we know that accessibility is an important part of delivering equity in education. Building upon the Nevada Department of Education’s investment in high-quality instructional material through Discovery Education Experience, the support from Nevada Gold Mines means more young minds will meet more opportunities,” said Coni Rechner, Discovery Education’s Senior Vice President of National Education Partnerships. “Through this partnership, the students of Nevada have access to what’s needed to learn effectively in any type of classroom.”

Discovery Education’s team continues adding, contextualizing, and organizing exciting new content and timely resources to Experience each month in response to current events and the ever-evolving needs of educators. These resources, sourced from trusted collaborators like Nevada Gold Mines, are vetted and curated by Discovery Education’s team of content experts, and aligned to state and national standards, helping educators bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About Nevada Gold Mines  
Nevada Gold Mines is a joint venture between Barrick (61.5%) and Newmont Corporation (38.5%), combining their significant assets across Nevada to create the single largest gold-producing complex in the world, and realize the full potential of these mines through synergies and best-in-class operational improvements. The massive mining operation comprises eight mines along with their associated infrastructure and processing facilities. Nevada Gold Mines is operated by Barrick.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com.

Contacts
Grace Maliska | Discovery Education | gmaliska@discoveryed.com
Kathy du Plessis | Nevada Gold Mines | barrick@dpapr.com
Terri Hendri | Nevada Department of Education| thendry@doe.nv.gov

USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education Award $10,000 to 2020 Stronger Than Hate Challenge Winners

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Select Students Exemplify the Power of Youth Voices to Overcome Hate

Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, September 10, 2020) – USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education (USC Shoah Foundation), and Discovery Education announced today the winners of the 2020 Stronger Than Hate Challenge. The Challenge and the 2020 winners exemplify the power of youth voices to connect communities and the role of social and emotional learning in empowering students to overcome hate.

The Stronger Than Hate Challenge encourages students ages 13+ in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada to work individually or in groups of 2-4 to submit multimedia projects demonstrating the power of story to create a community that is stronger than hate.

The Stronger Than Hate Challenge builds upon the USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education no-cost and standards-aligned educational program, Teaching with Testimony, designed to inspire middle and high school students to create a better future by learning from the powerful testimony of survivors and witnesses of genocide.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled rapid increases in racism, xenophobia, and antisemitism all over the world, making the Stronger Than Hate program more important and relevant in this moment.  As classrooms shifted to virtual learning, students produced remarkable content, despite many barriers and distance, that exemplified the power of storytelling to promote empathy, understanding, and respect.  We were proud of every submission and left hopeful that students would enact real change in their communities as a result of the program,” said USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education, Dr. Claudia Wiedeman.

The winners illustrate excellence in leveraging testimony and creativity to promote empathy, understanding, and respect in their local communities. The 2020 Stronger Than Hate Challenge winners are:

First Place
11th grader Emma F. from San Clemente High School of the Capistrano Unified School District located in San Clemente, CA will receive a $6,000 scholarship for the project titled “Conquering Hate Through Testimony.” In addition, Emma receives an exclusive experience learning directly from the storytellers at USC Shoah Foundation.

The artistic multi-media project depicting a hand-drawn mural of George Floyd with the words “you can’t conquer hate with hatred.” As Emma stated in her submission, the piece connects the “current situations in the United States of racism to what has happened throughout history. So many of the genocide survivors’ stories have strong similarities to what is occurring today,” said Emma. “I feel that people can connect with art and thus connect to the meaning behind it.”

Second Place
8th grader Vaishnavi M. from R.J. Grey Junior High School of the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District located in Acton, MA will receive a $3,000 scholarship for the project titled “The Strength in Love.”

The project demonstrates the power of positivity through art. “As shown in my painting, hate is like a fire burning everything in its path. It affects everyone, even the people spewing the hate. There is no strength in hate, but instead a lot of strength in mercy and compassion,” said Vaishnavi. “So, if hate is like fire, then love is like the water that puts it out. The best way to combat hate, is by spreading stories to inspire these small acts. All this can make communities brighter, as shown in the painting, with strength, happiness, inclusion, and most importantly love.”

Third Place
9th grader Anayla W. from Episcopal High School, part of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, located in Houston, TX will receive a $1,000 scholarship for the video submission titled “No Longer Silent.”

The project uses testimony to raise awareness about the “whole side to history that people never talk about,” said Anayla. “Especially during times like these, I like to have open conversations with people… I like to speak to others and share my experiences in life to enlighten others.”

“Discovery Education is proud to support the critical work USC Shoah Foundation undertakes every day to promote understanding and overcome hate through uniquely powerful social and emotional learning resources,” said Lori McFarling, President of Corporate & Community Partnerships at Discovery Education. “The Stronger Than Hate Challenge encourages students to use testimony to establish habits of respect, love, and kindness for all, while actively engaging peers and community members in the critical work to make a more just and equitable world.”

Teaching with Testimony integrates social and emotional learning—student understanding of their emotions, social skills, and how these influence decision-making and interpersonal relationships—with the dynamic and thoughtful content, inspiring resources, and educational supports.

The digital resources from Teaching with Testimony, including the Stronger Than Hate Challenge, support education online, at home, or wherever learning is taking place. Discover more about the Stronger Than Hate Challenge and the partnership at TeachingwithTestimony.com and within the Discovery Education Experience Teaching with Testimony channel.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About USC Shoah Foundation
USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education develops empathy, understanding and respect through testimony, using its Visual History Archive of more than 55,000 video testimonies, award-winning IWitness education program, and the Center for Advanced Genocide Research. USC Shoah Foundation’s interactive programming, research and materials are accessed in museums and universities, cited by government leaders and NGOs, and taught in classrooms around the world. Now in its third decade, USC Shoah Foundation reaches millions of people on six continents from its home at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com.

Contacts
Ron Demeter | USC Shoah Foundation | uscsfpress@usc.edu
Grace Maliska | Discovery Education | gmaliska@discoveryed.com

St. Clair County Schools Select Discovery Education to Support In-Person and Remote Instruction

Alabama’s St. Clair County Schools Select Discovery Education to Support In-Person and Remote Instruction

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Silver Spring, Md. (Tuesday, September 8, 2020) Alabama’s St. Clair County Schools (SCCS) today announced it has selected Discovery Education to support in-person and remote instruction for all 9,000 students at the district’s 17 community school sites and virtual academy. SCCS’s decision to partner with Discovery Education ensures all district students and teachers access to Discovery Education Experience’s award-winning resources and tools, which supports the creation of equitable learning experiences for all learners at home, in the classroom, or wherever learning is taking place. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

To meet the challenge of continuing to educate students during the COVID-19 Pandemic, SCCS created a three pronged approach to reopening schools. Families were asked to select one of the following options for instruction:

  • Traditional, classroom based instruction with school-specific modifications,
  • Full remote learning through the district’s Virtual Preparatory Academy, and
  • Hybrid instruction consisting of a combination of traditional and online learning for each grading period.

To meet the needs of educators and students participating in the three different modes of instruction the district was implementing simultaneously, SCCS sought a flexible digital content service that featured a high-quality collection of standards-aligned, vetted resources that could be used in the classroom, online, or wherever students are learning. Following a rigorous review period during which Discovery Education’s digital services were piloted by students and teachers at the district’s Ashville Elementary School, school administrators selected Discovery Education Experience for traditional, full remote, and hybrid instruction.

Experience connects educators to a vast collection of compelling high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, and professional learning resources. Together, these resources give educators everything they need to facilitate instruction in any learning environment and create lasting educational impact.

Discovery Education’s team continues adding, contextualizing, and organizing exciting new content and timely resources to Experience each month in response to current events and the ever-evolving needs of educators. These resources, sourced from trusted partners, are aligned to state and national standards, and help educators bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day.

Finally, Experience is designed to work within school systems’ existing infrastructure and workflows. Through expanded partnerships with Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, and now Clever, integrating Experience into existing IT architecture is easier than ever.

SCCS elementary and middle school teachers and students will also receive access to Discovery Education Coding. With Discovery Education Coding, students will gain a secure understanding of coding concepts, like algorithms, sequences and variables, and develop critical computational thinking skills through decomposition, logical reasoning, and imaginative problem-solving. In addition, students and teachers alike will be able to demonstrate their creativity and build confidence by creating their very own apps and sharing them with their classmates and colleagues.

“Elementary school teachers are among the busiest professionals in the world. In the space of 15 minutes, elementary school teachers are asked to be counselors, nurses, IT directors, mediators, art teachers, and more,” said Lisa Glasgow, St. Clair County Schools’ Elementary Curriculum Director. “The grab-and-go lessons and research-based strategies within Experience will save our elementary teachers valuable time they can use to interact with their students either online or in the classroom.”

“Student engagement in the secondary grades is incredibly important,” said Kenneth Trucks, St. Clair County Schools’ Secondary Curriculum Director. “In both the physical and the online classroom, teachers have to quickly grab and hold students’ attention to maintain their engagement in instruction. Discovery Education Experience‘s high-quality content—which is sourced from trusted partners—connects the real world to learning and ensures students stay highly engaged in classroom activities. ”

To help SCCS educators integrate their new digital resources into instruction in the coming school year, Discovery Education will provide selected district educators dedicated professional learning. Through these interactive professional development sessions, participants will learn best practices for integrating technology and digital content into teaching and learning in ways that will maximize the power of their digital resources, increase student engagement in instruction, and improve students’ academic achievement. These educators will then share their knowledge with their peers so that all educators are prepared to use these resources for instruction.

SCCS’s partnership with Discovery Education also provides district teachers access to the Discovery Education Community. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.

“Discovery Education is incredibly proud to begin this new partnership with the St. Clair County Schools,” said Jeanette Russell, Discovery Education’s Manager of Education Partnerships. “The district’s dedication to the mission of preparing all students to succeed in an ever-changing world has not wavered one bit during the ongoing pandemic, and we look forward to working closely with the St. Clair County Schools team as they maintain students’ continuity of learning through their innovative three pronged response to COVID-19.”

For more information about St. Clair County Schools, visit the district website here.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

Contact:

Discovery Education
Stephen Wakefield
Email: swakefield@discoveryed.com
Phone: (202) 316-6615