A few weeks ago, I visited Bing Wong Elementary School in San Bernardino City Unified School District. What an impressive school!
To prepare students to enter nearby Indian Springs High School, which has Linked Learning pathways in Advanced Manufacturing and Health, Bing Wong engages them in a growing array of challenging project-based learning experiences.
These experiences include designing and building robots, analyzing and processing a crime scene, and learning how to diagnose diseases. At the heart of the school is the iSTEAM lab, where students can work with computer assisted design software, use 3-D printers to produce parts and tools, and build and program amphibious robots and other devices. Industry professionals from the police department and other agencies and private employers work side by side with teachers and students.
As San Bernardino City moves to take Linked Learning “wall-to-wall” throughout all nine of its high schools by 2017, it is also beginning to build a strong foundation in K-8 to better prepare young people for these emerging new high school opportunities. Bing Wong is a superb example of how districts can make sure that all students, regardless of zip code, have access to and knowledge of pathways and academies that suit their interests, passions, and talents. Linked Learning began as a high school initiative, but more districts are adopting Linked Learning as a K-12 strategy - indeed, even P-16.
You can learn more about how SBCUSD students are gaining 21st-century skills here: Exploring a Career Pathway Embedded with 21st Century Skills at the Elementary Level