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Science Techbook Impacts Student Engagement and Achievement

Science Techbook Impacts Student Engagement & Achievement

Success Stories

Sahuarita Unified School District logo

Sahuarita Unified School District

Sahuarita, Arizona

Discovery Education's Impact

In 2016, leaders at Sahuarita Unified Schools in Arizona knew they wanted to replace their outdated science textbooks. But the cost of new textbooks was high, and their budgets were facing some new challenges. They had to be innovative in funding sources, so they turned to Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, a local mining company’s  investment foundation that aims to make transformative changes for communities to improve their wellbeing.  

Sahuarita was awarded a grant from the foundation, which they used to implement Discovery Education Science Techbook for middle school as a supplemental resource, eventually expanding in the elementary grades.

With the amount of changes Arizona was undergoing with standards and funding, Techbook was selected because it was fluid and could adapt to the current science standards, as well as NGSS. It was cost efficient, flexible, and user friendly. It also proved to make a huge difference in access to engaging science curriculum.
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Brett Bonner
Assistant Superintendent, Sahuarita Unified School District

The initial implementation included district-provided professional learning, a research study, and professional learning from Discovery Education on ideal implementation and usage of Science Techbook in the classroom. The district then transitioned into using Science Techbook as the core curriculum for grades K-8, increasing their in-house professional development along with that offered by Discovery Education.   

Sahuarita has seen promising growth in terms of student achievement since the implementation of Science Techbook, as it creates high engagement levels across grades especially when used with hands-on labs and science projects. The teaching staff is also invested in its use. They appreciate and value having high-quality, updated resources and digital access to support their instruction.

When you combine an up-to-date curriculum, easy-to-use learning platform, content aligned to state standards, and robust professional learning, you have the perfect mix for a successful implementation.
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Brett Bonner
Assistant Superintendent, Sahuarita Unified School District

Science Techbook Implementation Study

For the 2022-2023 school year, Sahuarita Unified School District conducted an implementation study of Science Techbook to determine its impact on middle school students. Nine teachers from three middle schools participated.   

Pre- and post-assessments were given to 363 students in grade 6 and 378 students in grade 7 to serve as the control and response variables. The results showed a statistically significant positive correlation between the post-assessment scores and each variable of Techbook usage measured throughout the year. These results meet ESSA’s rigorous evidence-based Tier 3: Promising Evidence.  

Additionally, a survey was conducted among the educators involved in the use of Science Techbook, which revealed a high satisfaction with the quality of Techbook and support from Discovery Education.  In fact, “teachers who were more experienced with Techbook, invested time in learning it, valued the resources within it, and used it more . . . had students who generally performed better on the post-assessment.” 

The study also revealed the need for the district to invest more in technology to help increase access to students. Using ESSER funds, they are now at almost a 1:1 ratio with student Chromebooks.

Lightbulb Moments

Sahuarita believes that having an online resource like Science Techbook is a viable, affordable, and user-friendly solution that benefits both teachers and students. Even during the pandemic, it helped greatly reduce disruptions in learning because students could access it outside of the classroom. Additionally, it helps the district face the challenges of a teacher shortage by providing easy-to-use resources that are accessible to any level of teacher.

All the resources have strengthened academic skills the students need to succeed, but they also require active participation. I’ve found that the students are really engaged from start to finish—they’re reading, they're watching videos, and they're interested in the curriculum. The lessons are really fast paced and the students actually enjoy them, so the hour goes by quickly!
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Stacie Trebes
Middle School Science Teacher, Sahuarita USD

Even language acquisition students feel supported. There are plenty of Spanish resources available in Science Techbook that help ensure that language is never a barrier to learning. Additionally, Discovery Education offers resources translated into multiple languages to involve families whose primary language is not English

Connecting to the Community

Sahuarita believes in working closely with the community, because investing in education affects everyone involved. It regularly shares updates on its public website so that families can stay informed on all things Science Techbook and understand how it supports science learning for their children, as well as how it can be accessed at home. It also meets regularly with a diverse group of community stakeholders to ensure all voices are heard and to help identify areas of investment that align to community needs.  

In collaboration with Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, Sahuarita Unified Schools is a model example of how the impact of education goes well beyond the classroom and can help bring an entire community together. They recognize that the success of their students means the success of their community.

We want ALL our students to succeed, as well as our community, and Discovery Education helps us accomplish that.
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Brett Bonner
Assistant Superintendent, Sahuarita Unified Schools

Quick Facts

School Details

  • 10 schools serving 5,800 students
  • Partnered with Discovery Education since 2016


  • Access to Education
  • Professional Learning
  • Standards Alignment
  • Bilingual Learners

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental
  • Core Curriculum

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Bringing Standards-Aligned Curriculum to All Students​

Bringing Standards-Aligned Curriculum to All Students

Success Stories

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Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Miami-Dade, FL

Miami-Dade County Public Schools is one of the largest school systems in the United States. It serves a diverse student population in a city that is a gateway and hub to Latin America and the rest of the world. The Miami-Dade County Public School District leadership realized that today’s students have changed, that they needed more access to the world in preparation for their futures, and that schools needed to catch up.


In a district with over 345,000 students, ensuring consistent and equitable curriculum access for all learners is paramount. They also decided one of the most effective ways to accomplish this was to build educator capacity to transform teaching and learning.


They turned to Discovery Education in order to infuse digital resources, complete with curriculum alignment and pacing guides, as well as targeted professional development into their schools to make learning more relevant for their students. Services included:


Evidence shows that when educators within Miami-Dade County Public Schools used Discovery Education Streaming Plus with students, it was associated with better performance on the science FCAT as compared to classrooms in which students were not engaged with multimodal resources from Discovery Education Streaming Plus.

With a focused effort around teacher effectiveness as well as ubiquitous access to content that brings the world to the classroom, Miami-Dade County Public Schools achieved a 7 point increase on the 8th and 11th grade science FCAT exams.

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English Language Fluency with DreamBox Reading

San Ysidro Adult School Student Finds English Language Fluency with DreamBox Reading

Success Stories

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San Ysidro Adult School

Sweetwater Union High School District, Sweetwater, California

Angelica, a native Spanish speaker from Tijuana, Mexico, is determined to get her high school diploma from the United States. Her goals include earning her diploma, going to college to study mathematics, and starting a teaching career. At San Ysidro Adult School, she enrolled in advanced placement classes as well as high school English classes. Reading Plus became an essential part of her journey toward English fluency.

DreamBox Reading's Impact

At first, reading was challenging for Angelica. Feeling confident in her reading comprehension took time. But her experience with DreamBox Reading helped her appreciate completing her readings. Initially, she stuck to fiction texts on the program but then found readings that could help with credits toward other classes; history selections in DreamBox Reading have been particularly helpful. “I can say that at this time, I enjoy reading,” she says. 

DreamBox Reading intelligently adapts and personalizes lessons for Angelica. It started her with beginner-level texts. As her proficiency grew, the platform upped the ante and gave her more complex reading lessons. In the beginning, she read about 80 words a minute, but now she reads and comprehends more than 180 words a minute. Within a year and a half, she had completed all DreamBox Reading grade levels. 

Angelica believes that being able to see her progress on the dashboard increased her confidence. As her confidence grew, so did her vocabulary, proficiency, comprehension, and speed. “You can see how much improvement you have [made],” she says. And she can feel the improvement when she speaks English at school and at her job. Similarly, she’s seen growth in her writing proficiency. Angelica says that in the early days of using DreamBox Reading, she would write about one paragraph that often had grammatical errors. Now she is writing essays with more certainty and ease. 

The flexibility of DreamBox Reading is also a perk for Angelica. The online platform can go anywhere:  the classroom, home, the library. So, when she had the time, she had access to her studies no matter where she was. DreamBox Reading not only helped her learn English, but it also improved her vocabulary, speed, and comprehension by helping her to identify the skills that everyone needs to read. She recommends to anyone who is considering Reading Plus to stay motivated, and you’ll be pleased with reading improvement.

Quick Facts

District Details

  • Sweetwater Union High School District has 32 campuses that serve 34,000+ students
  • Adult Division of the School District serves 10,000+ adult learners


  • DreamBox Reading

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental

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Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals