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In the News:
Waukee’s APEX received a STEM BEST award this past year. Newly housed in the district’s state-of-the-art Technology and Innovation Center, coordinator Michelle Hill is busier than ever with this growing program. Much of the state funding went toward hiring educators. “It takes a special kind of teacher to work here,” said Hill. “Every six months, the curriculum is evaluated and changed to address student, business and community needs.”
With so much success, it’s hard to believe the idea of APEX all started when the community came together to address the growing student population. To deal with the explosion of school-age children, they began looking at innovative and alternative approaches to where and how students learn.
“You just need one passionate educator, one enthusiastic student and one business partner,” said Hill.
Check out the Lessons Learned from Waukee’s APEX Program:
- Change happens when the entire community comes together. Form a core committee of people, and make sure to invite student voices.
- Let the workforce drive your program. What economic sectors live in your community and how can the school support those? Include business and industry partners when planning core curriculum for the program.
- Consider your space and furniture needs and develop a long-term, sustained budget.
- Create an on-going advisory board that meets often.
- Develop a database of community partners, noting their talents, skills and interests.
If you’d like more info on BEST proposals, please click here: https://iowastem.gov/STEMBEST