California STEAM San Bernardino Wins Honors For Transforming Education
Fuel Education Honors Seven Programs for Transforming Education for Students
San Bernardino, CA – Education is not one size fits all. Students learn in different ways and have varying needs. That’s why innovative educators across the country are implementing creative programs to better meet those needs. The Fuel Education® program celebrates schools, districts, or organizations that are successfully transforming the way teachers teach and students learn.
Of the seven, 2018 Fuel Education (FuelEd®) Transformation Award winners included California STEAM San Bernardino
- California STEAM San Bernardino – for supplementing online coursework with innovative projects like virtual makerspaces, STEAM fairs, coding workshops, drone-enabled virtual field trips, and more.
“These transformative programs are the result of strong leadership combined with creativity and resourcefulness,” said Sean P. Ryan, General Manager of Fuel Education. “Our goal at FuelEd is to provide educators committed to transforming their classrooms into modern learning environments with digital curriculum and content that can empower teachers and help them meet the diverse needs of students in a variety of circumstances—both expected and unanticipated.”
Each Transformation Award winner uses FuelEd’s portfolio of online courses and adaptive learning tools to meet the varying needs of their students, which represent different demographic, economic, and geographic backgrounds. The winning programs are inventive in the way they use online learning to overcome challenges, whether it is by providing students with the means to earn a high school diploma after dropping out, filing teacher vacancies, helping students recover credits, differentiating instruction based on real-time progress data, or providing students with access to a wider variety of elective courses.
For details about this year’s winners, their programs, and how they are using FuelEd solutions, visit https://resources.fueleducation.com/transformation-award-winners.
More about California STEAM San Bernardino
California STEAM San Bernardino is a full-time online school that pushes the envelope in project-based learning by providing an innovative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program for students in grades K–12.
The school is part of A3, a network of online charter schools in California. Approximately 78.2 percent of California STEAM San Bernardino’s 350 students live at or below the poverty level, 48 percent live in rural or farming communities, and 62.5 percent are ethnic minorities and/or female, according to A3’s internal demographic data. California STEAM San Bernardino’s initiative is designed to meet these students’ needs, according to A3’s Chief Operating Officer Damian Jenkins.
California STEAM San Bernardino uses Fuel Education® (FuelEd®) curriculum to provide students with rigorous online courses, coupled with innovative projects, including virtual makerspaces, STEAM fairs, coding workshops, and drone-enabled activities like virtual field trips.
“Students construct their own roller coasters and present them during virtual makerspace events. Small teams use scientific inquiry to create projects to present at the bi-annual Virtual Science Fair where projects from all over the United States are professionally adjudicated,” says Jenkins. “Edgy, nerdy coding workshops provide access to forms of student expression not previously imagined, yet relevant to the new global reality in which our students live. “Mammal cams” and iNaturalist are made available to students to help them better understand their impact on ecosystems, wildlife, and communities through technological means.”
Courses are taught by teachers trained in STEAM education, which Jenkins calls the “STEAM Team.” The school also organizes face-to-face meetups for students to interact in person with their classmates, teachers, and mentors. To encourage parental participation and work around students’ schedules, the school provides online classes during evening hours and on Saturdays so working parents can participate in live sessions like the makerspace events, says Angie Vega, a principal in the A3 network who led the STEAM initiative at the San Bernardino school.
Since its launch in 2017, the STEAM initiative has driven student participation and is meeting the needs of the school’s diverse student body. For example, when the science fair became a STEAM fair in 2017, participation in the fair more than doubled and the percentage of participants who were female and/or part of an ethnic minority group grew from 22 percent in 2017 to 50 percent, according to A3’s internal demographic data. Among coding workshop participants, 48 percent are female and 59 percent are part of an ethnic minority group, and participation in the virtual makerspaces increased from 15 to 66 families, according to the school’s data.
“The STEAM team and students examine new perspectives on reality through drones, explore new ideas within virtual makerspaces, and co-construct insights into our biodiverse world through technology-enhanced exploration and coding,” says Jenkins. “What they have accomplished is completely remarkable, and it is foundational to our positive, edgy, and nerdy school culture which is enjoyed by all!”