For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY -
Martin County's reputation as a pioneer in public education took a giant leap this week when the Education Foundation of Martin County's educational programming was showcased in a national forum.
Lisa Rhodes, executive director of the Education Foundation of Martin County, was a featured speaker at the Arts Education Partnership's 2012 national forum in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The topic: STEAM, Martin County's version of STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.
Martin County took the approach one step further and added an "a" for "arts," calling it their version of the program "STEAM."
The addition of arts was prompted by the belief that the arts play a vital role in developing critical and creative thinking skills, which are all crucial components of innovation, Ms. Rhodes explained.
"The goal is to meet the needs of an increasingly knowledge-based economy driven by innovation, the foundation of which lies in a dynamic and well-educated work force," said Ms. Rhodes.
Among the foundation's STEAM initiative programming featured at the Arts Education Partnership national forum were specific innovative classroom projects, re-engineering algebra, art in public places, artist residencies and other project-based learning activities and professional development opportunities for teachers.
The Education Foundation is currently expanding these opportunities in part due to a grant from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin counties.