Cultivating Student Leaders
Supporting 21st Century Skills for
College & Career Success
The Investing in Innovation (i3) grant is a federally funded grant designed to help develop programs that will increase student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses and increase college and career readiness. Alliance was one of only 49 organizations out of 1,700 applicants across the nation to receive the prestigious award.
During the 2013-2014 school year, students and teachers at 19 Alliance schools are working on project-based learning and technology-infused instruction as part of the Alliance's i3 program.
Utilizing 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication, participating students are provided with computer and application training/support to complete two technology projects. The first, completed during the fall semester, has a science focus, and the second, completed during the spring semester, focuses on college and career readiness. Projects are designed as follows:
- Students are presented with a driving question.
- In-depth research revolving around the question is conducted by each student.
- Students respond to the driving question by creating a technology-based project.
- Projects are presented to the class.
For example, students at Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School recently researched how DNA testing could be used in various settings (i.e. criminal testimony, immigration deportation case, detecting and treating a disease).
In addition to completing the designated projects, every student has the chance to earn a national certification in technology literacy as part of the i3 program. Students who earn their certificates will then have the opportunity to become peer mentors for the next year's class of Student Technology Leaders. Throughout the year, professional development is provided to participating teachers to ensure they are able to effectively support the students as they complete their projects.