“If you build it they will come”– Field of Dreams, 1989. A group of passionate people had the same dream in 2014, although not for a baseball diamond in their fields, but rather a school to embrace a multidisciplinary curriculum with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Their vision was to prepare K-8 students for life-long learning, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. Just over one year ago their dream became a reality, and now over 200 students are enrolled at Discovery Charter School in Inver Grove Heights, MN. There, boys and girls are engaged in an environment that values creativity, diversity, and multiculturalism. With their vision a partnership also ensued with VariQuest, provider of Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer, and STEM Fuse, a leader in K12 digital curriculum.
Dan Hurley, Discovery Charter School Director, knew in order to fulfill their dream they needed to build a ‘Dream Team’.
- VariQuest— Provider of Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer designed exclusively for schools to seamlessly incorporate 3D technology in the classroom, and bring lessons to life.
- STEM Fuse— Premier developer of K12 digital curriculum, including STEM:IT that addresses the needs of kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learners, while incorporating 21st century skills that instill real-world critical thinking, and innovative problem solving.
- Talented Staff— 22 and counting… including Jennifer Roberts & Mikayla Curtis, 4th-6th grade teachers involved in 3D curriculum mapping, sequencing, pacing and lesson planning.
“The printer [Trifecta 800] allows for a higher order of critical thinking, and the curriculum provides an opportunity to see things in real life”, says Mr. Hurley. “It’s like a piece of art; you build it, print it, and see it, then relate it to the curriculum.”
Here’s what Mikayla and Jennifer, teachers instrumental in engaging students with 3D technology, have to say about the Trifecta 800 + STEM:IT offering-
“It has given kids who don’t take an interest in school, or are struggling academically, the chance to be leaders in the classroom through their creativity.”
“It’s a huge motivation to problem-solving, giving them the skills to make mistakes and learn how to fix them.”
“Learn more by doing— how to process emotions, frustration, disappointment and elation.”
“Community building in the classroom— [students] enjoy helping one another.”
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- Engage the whole brain with with hands-on learning
- Develop critical thinking skills by giving students the power to bring their ideas to life
- Prepare students for life-long learning and collaboration with STEM