JASON Learning is a nonprofit organization that specializes in providing unique STEM education experiences for students. With extensive experience in developing, customizing, and localizing STEM curricula, JASON ensures that learning resources align with the needs and interests of local communities, employers, and educators. This approach increases student engagement and boosts academic outcomes by making learning real, relevant, and connected to students’ own communities and experiences.
The localized curriculum approach has proven effective and successful in JASON partner school districts across the country, including those in Appalachian Ohio; Doddridge, West Virginia; Stafford, Virginia; and Portsmouth, Virginia (each is linked out to a blog describing the curriculum and partnership).
JASON Learning’s localized curriculum approach allows for customization to meet the specific needs of students and communities. Teachers can adapt the curriculum to reflect local environmental issues, cultural traditions, and economic realities. For instance, if a community is located near a coastline or river, the curriculum can focus on local water resources, pollution impact on the environment, and the importance of preserving natural habitats. Similarly, if a community is predominantly agricultural, the curriculum can explore sustainable farming practices, food safety, and the economics of agriculture.
One of the key features of localized curriculum is its flexibility. It encourages hands-on STEM learning through interactive activities, experiments, and field trips, which makes learning more fun and promotes critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities. By connecting classroom learning to real-world issues and challenges in their own communities, localized curriculum can help students develop a deeper understanding of the world around them.
JASON Learning’s localized curriculum also provides career inspiration and preparation. By partnering with local businesses and business advisory groups, JASON creates customized curriculum units featuring career role models from the local workforce. This approach embeds workforce preparation into the core classroom curriculum, linking K-12 classroom learning directly with local businesses and jobs.
We invite businesses to reach out to us and explore the opportunities for partnership in developing localized curriculum units. By working together, we can ensure that students are well-equipped to enter the local workforce and become active members of their communities. Businesses interested in partnering with JASON can contact Jenna Davis, Director of Development, at email@example.com to learn more.
The Localized Curriculum Approach:
- Promotes community engagement and partnership between schools and local businesses by featuring local businesses and local career role models in learning content
- Connects standards-driven classroom learning to real-world workforce needs
- Helps students develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and career readiness skills, preparing them for future success in STEM careers
- Trains teachers through high-quality professional development to follow best-practice STEM instruction incorporating these innovative local resources
- Aligns the school district’s system-wide K-12 STEM strategy around a specific, actionable, and effective focus point
- Encourages students to become more engaged and active members of their communities, leading to a stronger, more connected community overall
- Engages community members through a “Community Challenge”—a project-based learning activity that challenges students to use their technical skills to create solutions for local businesses or organizations. Community challenges encourage students to think critically about using their newly learned skills to solve real-world problems and create value in their communities.