The Milford school district is excited to announce that, in conjunction with Cincinnati Public Schools, we have been awarded a $1.1 million grant for the Partnership for Innovation in Education (PIE), Smarter Schools, the Mayerson Academy and the NKU Center for Applied Informatics to implement case-based, experiential STEM programs for elementary students. This is part of the Ohio Department of Education’s Straight A Fund, which set aside $250 million for Ohio schools to explore new ways of delivering education.
Milford began its relationship with PIE about 4 years ago, when I joined PIE’s Board of Trustees. The organization is dedicated to finding innovative new approaches to delivering education and engaging students, as well as communicating new approaches to stakeholders. PIE’s CEO, Mary Schlueter, has been having ongoing discussions with Dr. Farrell about how the two organizations can work together.
PIE has been focused on piloting a program with Cincinnati Public’s Kilgour Elementary in Hyde Park, where teachers worked with PIE to use a case study approach, such as that used by business schools, to enhance teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) skills at an elementary level. The case study method places the student in a decision-making role, where facts and context are presented, but students must actively pursue a solution.
The program at Kilgour was highly successful, with the school becoming the first public elementary to launch an app available globally via the Google Android store. Every $.99 download of the Cash Cow Lemon SmashTM app provides revenue to Cincinnati Public Schools.
Milford’s goal is to work with a local company focused on the physical sciences to identify a need sixth graders can address through this same approach, under the guidance of the organizations listed above. The specifics of the program are still in the development phase, but Milford will work on its own problem that dovetails what our students are learning.
The Milford school district does not pursue any grant simply for the sake of receiving “free money.” We vet all grant opportunities to be sure they make sense for our students and staff and also do not put us in a situation of having to add significant expense when the grant is over. When PIE approached us about partnering for this grant, the administration did their due diligence and identified how this program would make a lot of sense for our students. We are excited about the possibilities of this grant to develop more effective and engaging teaching methods for our students.
This month, due to personal commitments, I resigned from PIE’s Board of Trustees. However, I’m excited to say Mary Schlueter has asked me to remain on the Advisory Board, so I will still be closely involved with the organization and look forward to a great relationship between PIE and Milford Schools.
For more information: Straight A fund grant press release.