The School Year is Over and Here’s What We’ve Learned

This week closes out the 2020-21 academic year for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and what a year it’s been for scholars, families, educators and entire learning communities. We’ve learned so much, have tried new things and can’t wait for next year.

One new thing we at Digi-Bridge tried was our STEAM Lab program through our ten CMS partner schools: Ashley Park PreK-8 School, Briarwood Academy, Bruns Avenue Elementary, Devonshire Elementary, Druid Hills Academy, Governor’s Village STEM Academy, Highland Renaissance Academy, Idlewild Elementary, Montclaire Elementary and Walter G. Byers School.

STEAM LabSTEAM Lab is our reimagined school-based #STEAMSaturdays programming that delivers individual hands-on experiences designed by Digi-Bridge staff and CMS educators to scholars. With the help of volunteer groups from Novant Health, Sealed Air, Mythic, AvidXchange and Kiwanis Uptown we assembled and distributed 1,200 STEAM Lab Kits, which were paired with virtual instruction by educators from our school partners. STEAM Lab topic this season included Design Engineering Process, Art + Technology and Game of Codes.

“Digi-Bridge has made it possible for our students at Highland Renaissance Academy to explore various STEM activities and really challenge their thinking process,” said LaTasha Monford, a teachers at Highland Renaissance Academy.  “STEAM Lab has also been a great tool for our 5th graders who are considering STEAM schools for their 6th grade year.”

STEAM Lab has helped provide a place for scholars to explore and  create.

“STEAM Lab encourages our students to communicate, collaborate, think critically, and be creative,” said Beverly Mickey, a teacher at Druid Hills Academy. “It offers a safe place for our children to take risks and experience the joy of discovery.”

Despite a challenging year of remote instruction, virtual learning, schedule changes, it was also a great year.

“In all my years in education I’ve never had more fun learning with my scholars,” said Torie Leslie, a teacher at Governor’s Village STEM Academy.

Last fall, we called on our Digi-Bridge community to help us #StockTheSTEAMLab to allow our programs to reach students in five schools this semester. Thanks to your support and to generous contributions from Novant Health and Google Fiber, we exceeded that goal and raised $12,000. A $125,000 grant from Honeywell allowed us to expand into five additional schools.

If you would like to help support our STEAM Lab programming, donations are always welcome.

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