On March 29, White Oak Elementary School hosted educators from across the district for a schoolwide eCLASS visit. Billed as “Going Live with Inquiry- and Project-Based Learning” the event offered an exciting opportunity to observe 21st century learners— students fully engaged with technology tools and peer collaboration— working in their classrooms, the many collaborative spaces, computer labs, media center, and maker space while actively (and confidently) presenting what they’ve learned.
Driven by a question or problem, an inquiry-based lesson encourages collaboration, makes kids into explorers and discoverers, and requires kids to think more deeply about their work, while teachers facilitate the learning. Inquiry is a process for learning the district’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Students are encouraged to begin by wondering about the content, then collaborating, formulating questions, investigating to find answers, building new understandings, and communicating their learning to others.
Thanks to this instructional approach, White Oak recently achieved Georgia’s schoolwide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Certification. State Superintendent Richard Woods visits the school for the formal award presentation on April 22. White Oak is the first elementary school in GCPS to receive STEM Certification.
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology and the Center for Design at Technology (CDAT) at Lanier High School also hold state STEM certification, while Harbins Elementary School and Peachtree Ridge High School currently are pursuing the state designation. Peachtree Ridge also holds STEM certification through AdvancED, an international education accrediting agency.
Check out this photo gallery to see how White Oak students are combining inquiry- and project based learning with technology to master GCPS’ AKS curriculum.