The ColletonianAll eyes were recently on representatives from Colleton County’s New Tech Academy as the group was part of a statewide study on how students in poor parts of the state are working to better themselves.Colleton County High School’s New Tech program and Scott’s Branch High School both have adopted a STEM-focused educational component into their high school curriculum: these are the New Tech approaches to education. From February 1 through February 3rd, the two schools were involved in a study hosted by the American Youth Policy Forum.The event took place in Charleston. It was called “Advancing Equity through Deeper Learning in Rural Schools: The Journey of School Transformation.”The entire conference ended with everyone traveling to Colleton County High School for a tour of the New Tech Campus. There, the officials also heard from New Tech students and teachers during a panel discussion.The entire event is meant to see how students in these two schools – both of which are located in the dubbed “I-95 Corridor of Shame,” an area along Interstate 95 where poverty is high – are working to improve their students’ educations.“These two STEM-focused New Tech schools will graduate their first classes in 2017. The schools utilize four design pillars: culture that empowers students and teachers, project-based learning, a broad use of technology and school-wise ‘deeper learning’ student outcomes,” as stated in a press release on the event. “Additionally, dual enrollment with college courses and engagement with regional employers are helping to advance equity and opportunity for students …,” the press release states.

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