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DC Public Schools Adopt Museum of Science Curriculum

October 18, 2015

As part of an ambitious new plan to enhance educational equity, the District of Columbia public school (DCPS) system is implementing a Museum of Science, Boston STEM curriculum districtwide. By spring 2016, all 22,000 students at all 75 DCPS elementary schools will have experienced the hands-on engineering activities that are the hallmark of the Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum.

The DCPS initiative, called "Cornerstone Assignments," provides schools across the district with a uniform set of rigorous, engaging learning experiences for each grade (K - 12). The overall goal is for students who are in the same grade across the district to have the same learning opportunities.

"The Next Generation Science Standards, which our district has adopted, put new emphasis on engineering, and EiE is great for engaging students in the engineering design process," says DCPS elementary science specialist Jessica Buono. "Now they'll have that rich experience at least once a year. And the EiE professional development workshops help our teachers understand what engineering looks like in the elementary classroom."

This past summer, EiE educators traveled from Boston to Washington, DC, to conduct a workshop for a group of DCPS educators who will lead their own EiE workshops, preparing other K - 5 teachers in the district to implement the curriculum. This "train the trainer" model of professional development builds on pilot implementations of EiE in DCPS that started in 2010; these were made possible by support from Raytheon as part of a larger $2 million award to the Museum to jumpstart use of EiE in high-needs districts nationwide.

"Our prior experience with EiE made it an easy decision to include the curriculum in Cornerstones," says James Rountree, director of science for DCPS. Support for the $500K Cornerstones initiative comes from a mix of public and private funding.

Related Links

The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500