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Lede: This week, 50 Fairfax County students will be the first to complete a unique three-year program that could revolutionize the way STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – is taught.
Randy Atkins: The diverse group of students who volunteered to pioneer the Global STEM Challenges Program at Edison High School in Alexandria are finishing their junior year without having taken any typical math or science course. Pamela Brumfield, Edison’s principal says, instead, they’ve learned all that material together – as needed while focusing on world-changing goals.
Pamela Brumfield: It’s not in silos any longer. Kids bring it together to come up with a solution or to produce a product. It’s pretty phenomenal.
Randy Atkins: Brumfield says the students are motivated by taking on real issues like providing people with access to clean water. While she admits some parents were initially apprehensive about the program…
Pamela Brumfield: …children are not missing out on anything, but actually it goes above and beyond. What we found was that learning was actually authentic. This program doesn’t teach to a test.
Randy Atkins: Nevertheless, Brumfield says 100-percent of those in the program passed all Virginia standards of learning subject tests. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.