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Improving STEM education in Arkansas high schools

New Tech came to Arkansas in 2011, with the announcement of Governor Beebe’s STEM Works pilot program. This program focuses on improving the quality of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education available in Arkansas high schools. “The STEM fields offer stable, well-paying careers for the 21st century, and the demand continues to grow at a rapid pace,” Governor Beebe said. “These are positions that companies are struggling to fill, even in tough economic times. If we are to continue to attract these types of companies to Arkansas, we must prepare our young people with high-tech skills and build a workforce that will help our state prosper.”

New Tech high schools employ integrated problem-based learning throughout the entire high school curriculum. Students use technology to facilitate their learning while working on educational projects that incorporate curriculum elements from multiple classes (for example, students study math in literature). Students work in teams in open areas. Teachers act as facilitators to help students become directors of their learning processes. Students at New Tech High Schools experience a more hands-on educational process that better prepares them for the rigors of college and career. They develop a more dedicated and realistic approach to their studies, which is critical for student success after graduation.