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STEM Programs to Fit Every Student

Written by Bill Laurienti

You may have seen this popular graphic illustrating the difference between equality and equity. People that are given the same thing are not able to see the game, but when people are each given what they need they are all able to easily watch the game. This is equity.

Perhaps education should be viewed the same way….rather than providing each student with identical resources, instruction, and support, schools can provide students with personalized learning experiences based on their individual backgrounds, skills, and interests.

As the above graphic illustrates, equity is not always equal because some students may need more or less support depending on their individual circumstances. Equity, rather than equality, ensures that students, regardless of their background or experiences, have access to quality education.

The SmartLab project-based approach to STEM helps schools take steps towards a more equitable education by supporting students of all backgrounds and abilities through personalized curriculum and skills development. 

Each customized learning plan is designed to meet specific school initiatives with varying challenge levels providing opportunities for students to progress at their own pace. This approach leverages students’ personal interests and strengths while having fun at the same time. 

Training Built In

SmartLab Learning provides teachers with the necessary training, resources, and equipment required to create an engaging, active, social learning environment that encourages a growth mindset for all students. SmartLabs are designed to take the guesswork out of personalized instruction.

SmartLabs empower teachers to personalize all students’ learning experiences and provides them what they need by evaluating and curating technology to match developmental needs and targeted skills for each student. This individualized design and instruction means that teachers can provide students with equitable learning opportunities, no matter their background or skill level. 

Administrators and educators all strive to help students achieve their greatest potential. But the resources needed for each student to reach that goal are not always the same. When resources are allocated effectively, teachers feel supported and equipped, and when students’ individual needs are met, equity is achieved. 

Sounds amazing, but does it work?

The answer is a resounding yes! Studies show that project-based learning experiences with a STEM focus resulted in an 11% increase in science and an 18% increase in math test scores among students in lower socioeconomic areas, and a 10% increase in English scores among ESL students. 

In addition, similar studies show that project-based learning programs like SmartLab help develop career and college readiness skills and promote 21st century skills. Schools that prioritize equity understand that every student has different needs and individualize instruction accordingly. 

Making STEM-centered programs available to all students by implementing systems like SmartLab helps schools empower students from all backgrounds to achieve their highest potential. Who knows where your students might go?

If you are interested in learning more about SmartLab and how it can help your school create a more personalized, equitable learning environment, or how you can use ESSER/EANS funding to bring a SmartLab to your school, or district please contact us today.

Bill Laurienti

Bill Laurienti is a Content Marketing Specialist at Creative Learning Systems. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education (English) from Colorado Mesa University and a Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching from the University of California's Rossier School of Education. Bill came to CLS after 10 years in the secondary classroom. He believes SmartLabs are important tools for engaging unengaged students and helping them access careers they might not otherwise have imagined.

Case Study

Going beyond STEM to teach essential skills

When the team at Jewell Houston Academy, a magnet school in Texas, looked for a STEM program, they wanted one that would not only engage students in STEM careers but could also teach conflict-resolution, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills.

Read about how the SmartLab HQ impacted both learners and enrollment.