Program allows high school students to take college courses
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 16, 2015) — The University of Kentucky and Fayette County Public Schools are in negotiations to move the district’s STEAM Academy to UK.
STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) allows students to take high school classes, while potentially earning college credits in courses taught by UK faculty and undergraduate and graduate students.
“Locating the STEAM academy on the UK campus is ideal for both the university and FCPS,” said Mary John O’Hair, dean of the UK College of Education. “Our model uses an innovative personalized instruction approach that includes mastery learning, internships, and dual college credit opportunities.”
In addition to having access to college-level courses and campus resources, the program is part of a national network working to transform education, including the Kentucky P20 Innovation Lab and National Center for Innovation in Education, both based at the College of Education. Additionally, College of Education students will be involved in STEAM classrooms early in their studies, helping the college establish a “blue ribbon model” for clinical-based teacher preparation programs.
The program, which has been open since fall 2013, is housed temporarily in the former Johnson Elementary School on East Sixth Street. The long-term goal, though, has been to have a facility close to, or on, the UK campus.
The partnership is focused on creating a 21st-century school that is flexible and adaptable, technology rich, responsive to student and teacher needs, and recognizes and extends learning beyond the traditional school day and classroom.
STEAM Academy is also envisioned as a research and development lab for UK faculty to research and pilot new innovations that can be broadly shared and replicated. STEAM students have access to the UK campus, as well as UK faculty students and staff who are frequently at the Academy.
The Academy was the first public high school program in the nation to receive start-up funds from Next Generation Learning Challenges, which is supported by foundations including the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.