Innovation in Action

3D Printer

The 3D Student-designed objects for How To Make Almost Anything, one of the most popular courses at Spring Lake Park High School, are appearing. The Technology, Engineering and Design elective within the Career and College Pathways offerings provides a jumping off point for students to explore careers as they learn.

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Three students in Jen Haviland's class working and smiling

Have you ever taken a test and then promptly forgotten everything about the topic? Studying to get through a test or grade is not uncommon, and while it is reality sometimes, it doesn’t often lead to learning a student is able to apply in life. At the secondary level, competency-based learning is an approach that aims to deliver the grade AND the skills students can authentically apply to real situations.

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5th graders doing a science experiement

Spring Lake Park Schools has implemented a science specialist learning model at grades K-6. There is a new curricular resource for science at grades K-8, and new science competencies are guiding science learning. The goal is to support deep thinking and doing science, relate it to real life and ignite interest and engagement in science.

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Staff member Jan Burda working on a STEM project with two students

Competency-based learning is an education-y mouthful of words for an approach to learning coming to life in real ways for Spring Lake Park Schools’ students. The focus is on developing each student’s knowledge and skills to gain proficiency versus simply covering a subject for a defined period to fulfill a requirement.

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