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Owensboro Innovation Academy opens its doors

High school employs STEM and entrepreneurial curriculum

OWENSBORO, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — Gov. Steve Beshear today joined school officials and community leaders in celebrating the opening of the Owensboro Innovation Academy, located in Owensboro’s Centre for Business and Research.

academyThe academy is a partnership between Owensboro Public Schools and Daviess County Public Schools. The inaugural school year consists of 80 freshmen.

The academy is a stand-alone high school employing project-based learning with a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and entrepreneurial curriculum. It is Kentucky’s first school affiliated with the national New Tech Network, a nationwide partnership of 134 schools across 23 states. Incoming freshmen from public schools in Owensboro, Daviess County, Hancock County and McLean County or home-schooled students are eligible to apply for the academy. Administrators use a lottery system for enrollment and plan to maintain about 100 students per grade level. Students reserve the option to take elective courses not offered at the academy at their home high schools.

“The establishment of the Owensboro Innovation Academy provides motivated high school students in the region with the resources needed to continue down technological, medical, engineering and entrepreneurial pathways,” said Beshear. “The academy will also have the opportunity to build a strong relationship with the Kentucky Innovation Network and its clients.”

The academy’s location is essential as students will share the Centre for Business and Research incubator with technology-based companies that are clients of the Kentucky Innovation Network. Students must select a postsecondary pathway that engages them in a college-learning or career-oriented technical program.

“The school isn’t a traditional high school,” said Beth Benjamin, director of Owensboro Innovation Academy. “It’s more like a college experience.”

Postsecondary pathways include:

  • Computer Information Technology
  • Life Sciences, Bio-Medical
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation

New Tech Network is a nonprofit organization that helps high school students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow. It works nationwide with 134 schools in 23 states and Australia to provide services and support that enables schools to implement innovative high schools that promote deeper learning.