(Columbus, OH) – Today, PAST Innovation Lab was selected by the White House to collaborate on the Next Generation High Schools Summit. Hosted by the White House, this first-ever event brings together national leaders who are transforming the high school experience for students across the country.
PAST Innovation Lab, based in Columbus, was recognized by the White House for its work with teachers and schools, empowering students to seize opportunities in today’s economy and expand access to innovative science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teaching and learning.
“The PAST Innovation Lab is creating several new learning lab spaces where students from numerous schools can come to receive blended STEM learning experiences in Ohio, with other states to follow,” according to the White House press release.
“Learning Labs give students a STEM focused hands-on, experiential environment that is not available in most schools. We are proud to be collaborating with other leaders in this national effort to re-envision student learning systems, ” said Dr. Annalies Corbin, President & CEO of PAST Foundation.
In 2013, President Obama issued a challenge in his State of the Union to redesign America’s high schools so that young people graduate with skills and abilities aligned with the needs of a global economy.
Again this year, the President called for a national effort to create schools that incorporate key elements of redesign. Today’s summit highlights PAST Innovation Lab and other organizations who are leading the effort to ignite the imagination of American students by offering them the tools, mentors and spaces that promote creativity, problem-solving and collaboration.
“PAST Innovation Lab is one part of our process that brings problem-based learning to students in Ohio and across the country,” said Corbin. “Employers need today’s workforce to be able to tackle real-world problems with critical thinking skills.”
To meet the demand for a well-prepared workforce, PAST Innovation Lab is partnering with Ohio’s Metro Schools, local post secondary institutions, and community business leaders to design, develop, and build six Learning Labs at the Columbus headquarters:
Design, focusing on engineering and design
FabLab, focusing on fabrication technologies
Bodies, focusing on medicine, healthcare and health services
Energy, focusing on renewable energy and conservation
Growth, focusing on food science, chemistry and production
Digital, focusing on computer science, coding, cyber security, data acquisition and interpretation
The six labs represent a combination of new and existing educational practices developed by Ohio’s Metro Early College High School, the South Dakota Innovation Lab and New York’s CleanTech High School that will serve as a model for future community innovation learning labs. Each will be similar in educational design and strategy, using transdisciplinary problem-based learning, where teachers and students work collaboratively to define solutions to authentic community problems.
These Learning Labs will create capacity for up to 250 high school students across Central Ohio. These labs serve as an example for educational policy and a model in transforming professional development for teachers.