11/1/2012 4:00:00 PMPartnerships link classrooms, community
Cleveland Early College High School @ John Hay, one of the high-performing schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, is using innovation to turn education into a training ground for 21st Century scholars.
At Early College, STEM-based education has become a key component of instilling critical thinking into its students and exposing them to a world of global opportunities.
“Our school has shifted the focus from simply a college preparatory or liberal arts school,” Early College principal Carole Lockhart said. “We’ll provide the same expectation as any other college preparatory program, but we’ve shifted to STEM-related fields.
“Those are the skills expected today for students graduating from high school or college.”
And thanks to the Case Connection Zone Project, collaboration between Early College and Case Western Reserve University, her students now have a chance to explore the STEM fields through hands-on activities, such as studying sustainable energy in the smart houses on Hessler Road.
Because of this project, Early College faculty began to look for other avenues to collaborate and generate life-altering experiences for their students. The faculty formed one such partnership with Kent State University, which now offers a dual-credit program that allows 12th-graders to take college-level math.
Early College has also partnered with the CWRU Department of Bioethics and Department of Regenerative Medicine in an interdisciplinary project centering on the life of Henrietta Lacks, bioethics and stem-cell research.
Upon reading Rebecca Skloot’s book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, students will be working alongside CWRU medical writers, professors and researchers as they explore and observe bioethics and advancements in medical research stemming from the Lacks case.
CWRU will host CMSD students in a symposium that centers on hands-on observations and explorations of HeLa cells and other research projects about stem cells.
In addition, Early College has partnered with The American University of Paris in an international interdisciplinary project that focuses on climate change.
“It’s so much bigger than that,” Lockhart said. “It’s about sustainability, and the global impact upon us.”
As part of this partnership, student scholars work next to American U. students as equal members on a joint research project. They are studying moral and ethical implications of climate change and analyzing potential solutions.