Champaign Unit #4 School District Superintendent Dr. Judy Wiegand will host a Community Conversation at the University of Illinois Research Park as part of series of informal community meetings be held throughout the school year.
“As Superintendent, it’s important that the work taking place in our schools is leveraging the diversity and expertise that exists within our community,” said Superintedent Wiegand. “The University of Illinois Research Park has put Champaign-Urbana on the map as one of the fastest-growing tech communities in the nation. We want to build strong partnerships with this.”
District and University of Illinois representatives will be on hand to share how Unit 4 is working to integrate technology in the classroom. Research Park employees and community members are invited to ask questions and share ideas how our schools and the CU tech community can work together to build strong partnerships.
“Developing a technologically savvy workforce is critical to our community’s future,” said Laura Frerichs, Director of the University of Illinois Research Park. “We look forward to learning more about Unit 4’s approach to STEM education, and how we can leverage the Research Park and its resources to work together meaningfully towards a common goal. Research Park is excited to welcome Dr. Wiegand and Unit 4 to discuss these issues and hope this event marks the beginning of a continuous dialogue.”
One collaboration that will be highlighted to kick off the conversation will be the work done through the Entrepreneurial Leadership in STEM Teaching and Learning (EnLiST) grant, specifically at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy. These collaborations have included the development of several new high school science courses, middle school science units, and “flipping” classrooms.
“Over the past five years, EnLiST has collaborated with Unit 4 on developing the capacity of a cadre of fifty K-12 teacher leaders through intensive, long-term professional development coupled with the seeding and nurturing of innovative and transformative initiatives,” said Dr. Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Curriculum & Instruction Department Head at the University of Illinois College of Education. “At Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, EnLiST faculty and teacher leaders have engaged elementary students with nanotechnology (3D printing and polymer balls), a “Drones for Schools” program, and inquiry learning in chemistry, entomology, and geophysics, all supported by a network of UIUC STEM faculty and graduate students, high school teachers and students, and BTW teachers. EnLiST continues to support Unit 4 teachers as they create and implement transformative innovations for K-12 students in STEM education.”
The event will be held November 5, 2013 from 5-6:30 p.m. at EnterpriseWorks Incubator (60 Hazelwood Drive, Champaign).