The School Robotics Initiative
The School Robotics Initiative (SRI) serves a critical need in public schools by promoting elementary-school student interest in careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Since 2006, the SRI has worked with elementary and middle schools in Pomona and Walnut Valley school districts to develop and implement an innovative robotics curriculum that has successfully served over 750 students representing diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and achievement levels. This year alone, SRI schools will serve up to 450 students in grades 4 through 8. During weekly classroom sessions, participating students use LEGO® Mindstorms NXT robotics invention kits to develop expertise in robotics design and construction as well as targeted knowledge and skills in math, science, writing and technology. The curriculum supports emergent mathematical and scientific thinking and has strong ties to the California Common Core Standards for Mathematics, as well as national standards in, science, literacy, and technology.
Great Leaders for Great Schools Academy (GLGSA)
Great Leaders for Great Schools Academy (GLGSA) provides candidates with powerful learning experiences via multiple pedagogies and environments that transform ways of thinking and feeling about school leadership, themselves as leaders, and, consequently, transform the repertoire of actions, tactics, and strategies available to them as school leaders. Our innovative approach, supported by recent research on innovative administrator preparation programs, turns the traditional administrator preparation program on its head. Instead of relying upon traditional top-down, instructor-centered methodologies, our program uses a bottom-up, learner centered approach based upon contemporary adult learning theory. Our graduates learn more, learn better, and are prepared to enter the workforce with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to immediately address the district's most pressing site level educational and organizational problems.
The OPUS Collective is an online, openly accessible, searchable repository of culture-rich, curriculum-linked stories created through digital media. In its completion, the site will include Web 2.0 social technologies such as story ratings, comment fields, storyteller profiles, user-created groups, scripts to embed OPUS stories into other blogs or websites, and the ability to link to stories hosted on other sites such as YouTube. To this end, the word "opus" not only refers to an original creative work, but the acronym also represents the goal of "Offering Perspective Using Storytelling.