Originally Published by MCPS on 02/26/2020
Written By: Jack R. Smith, Superintendent of Schools
“Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.” — Stephen Covey, author, businessman and educator
I often cite the core purpose of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS): Prepare all students to thrive in their futures. I do this because it helps bring my focus back to what is important and essential. It is, indeed, the reason that we exist as an organization.
I also talk about the importance of developing and nurturing partnerships with parents, community members, governmental agencies, and nonprofit and community organizations. Each one of us has areas of expertise that supplement and augment what we collectively do on behalf of the children in our county.
Today, I want to highlight the work of one of our partners: the KID Museum. Our partnership with the museum launched about five years ago and has been refined each year since.
The mission of the museum “is to empower kids to become the creative problem solvers of tomorrow.” Its website goes on to say that, “The museum provides impactful hands-on learning that incorporates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), art and culture with 21st century skills like creativity and critical thinking.” This mission meshes seamlessly with that of MCPS.
Students in about 20 MCPS middle schools participate in the museum’s Invention Studio, where they engage in hand-on, project-based learning experiences. Students visit the museum five times during the year; they work in teams to develop an idea to solve a real-world problem; design a project; build a prototype; and test their solution, adapting it as they encounter problems. KID Museum educators work with small groups of students, guiding them through the invention process. Emma Starr from the KID Museum explains that students learn hard skills, such as coding and electricity, but they also learn soft skills, such as collaboration, grit and perseverance. In addition to their work at the museum, student teams receive ongoing support from their teachers at school.
Read the entire blog at www.news.montgomeryschools.org