The Puerto Rico Department of Education unveiled the first of a planned 28 STEM-PBL lab at the Mariano Feliú Balseiro school in Bayamón.
The new educational space that will promote among students learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through collaborative projects.
At the same time, the agency will continue supporting teachers in getting STEM certifications for the program. The design and construction of the first phase of these lab rooms comes from Title 1 funds and amount to $4.3 million. This phase should be completed in April, the agency said.
Education Secretary Julia Keleher said the labs have been designed to open islandwide, at the seven educational regions, mainly in schools with academic achievement needs, according to regional aptitude tests.
“This lab is part of the goals that we promote in the Department of Education that include improving student academic achievement and serving them holistically, while we offer professional development for teachers and principals. Now, teachers can innovate with learning techniques that a space like this provides,” she said.
The new laboratory, which integrates whiteboards and digital microscopes, 3D printers, robotics modules, among other equipment, may be used not only by students and teachers from the school, but other schools as well, which achieves an environment that encourages teamwork in all educational regions, she said.
The project, aimed at students and teachers in grades 6-8, allows the integration of Project-Based Learning, one of the pillars of Kelleher’s educational model.