Educators and district administrators have many variables to consider when it comes to selecting education programs that best meet their needs. Because resources are limited, it’s often a great help when partners provide solutions that can support multiple goals and initiatives.
Acceleration and Enrichment
For over 30 years, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) has developed innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) experiences. Each NIHF education program is designed to not only enrich children’s learning experiences but also help provide acceleration to those who have fallen behind academically, have unique learning needs or are English-Language Learners (ELL).
To provide both acceleration and enrichment, each year NIHF’s expert team of educators creates programming that aligns with state and national education standards, and inspires children through hands-on activities that invite them to invent solutions to real-world problems. In these environments, children are encouraged to explore without limits and develop an Innovation Mindset™.
Created in collaboration with our NIHF Inductees, the above skills and traits unlock creative potential, and are at the heart of all NIHF programs.
How Pinellas County School District Provided Both Acceleration and Enrichment in One Summer Program
In Florida’s Pinellas County School District, school officials had the challenge of finding a summer program that served two student populations: Gifted and Talented (G&T) and ELL.
As Coral Marsh, supervisor of gifted and talented education, started to consider solutions, she thought back to the positive experiences her district has had over the past five years with Camp Invention®, NIHF’s K-6 STEM summer camp.
Marsh joined forces with her colleague Natasha Karac, English learners services director, and the two applied for separate grants that would fit their needs.
“We implemented Camp Invention as part of our summer camp collaboration between the Gifted and Talented (G&T) Office and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Office,” Marsh said in an interview with NIHF. “We wanted that career preparedness, the mindset piece, the connecting to literacy … I guess really the mindsets behind STEM, and I think that’s one reason we continue to work with Camp Invention in the summer programming, because it takes all of that and it is created for us.”
By bringing G&T and ESOL students together in the same Camp Invention program, Karac and Marsh realized both groups would benefit. To implement this new program, Karac received a Title III grant to support the ESOL participants, and Marsh was able to use funds from a G&T grant to aid the G&T students.
The educators learned ESOL students could improve their confidence and literacy skills while also making measurable improvements on the G&T spectrum through program activities and direct collaboration with their gifted peers.