STEM | News
Waco ISD Piloting Hands-on Pre-K STEM Program
Next school year Waco (TX) ISD will pilot a new STEM curriculum for pre-K students, developed in concert by Accelerate Learning and Rice University.
Called STEMscopes Early Explorer, the curriculum is designed to foster critical reasoning skills in twelve modules, each with its own focus area, hands-on and online activities, and wrap-up questions.
The pilot at Waco will run for one year across the district’s 15 elementary campuses, which will each have access to the online curriculum, activity kits, supplementary print materials, and summer training with ongoing support.
"We’ve talked and complained because the state does not see the critical value of pre-K education, and has [only] funded half-day," said Superintendent Bonny Cain in a statement. "Our children need more than half a day, so we always look for alternative sources." Rice University and Accelerate Learning hope to use the data gleaned from Waco ISD’s pilot to expand its reach and offer STEMscopes Early Explorer nationwide.
Stephen Noonoo is a reporter, contributing editor and consultant specializing in education technology. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.