FLINT, Mich. — March 22, 2019 — In an assembly at Doyle/Ryder Elementary, Flint Community Schools announced it will launch a high tech junior high school concept in the 2019-2020 school year. The establishment of the STEM junior high was authorized by the Flint Community Schools Board of Education at the December Board Meeting.
This project was made possible by prior generous support from the Musk Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The Musk Foundation donated $423,600 to enable the district to adopt a one-to-one technology initiative by providing a Google Chromebook to all seventh and eighth grade students in the district. The Mott Foundation granted $300,000 to develop curriculum and materials to transform the instructional delivery model for every student within the junior high school.
“For the first time, every junior high school student in the city of Flint will have access to a comprehensive STEM education,” said Derrick Lopez, superintendent of FCS. “The Musk Foundation, in tandem with long-time partners like the Mott Foundation, is critical to making this model accessible to our students.”
The Musk Foundation also donated $480,350 to the district for the installation of new ultraviolet (UV) water filtration systems for water fountains throughout all school buildings, which are expected to be installed in spring 2019.
The high tech junior high school concept will be achieved through a restructuring of the district’s secondary school instructional delivery model, with STEM learning at the center of student curriculum. Daniel Neill, founder of Kajeet, a technology services provider that has been contracted to implement the Chromebook program as well as safe connectivity throughout the district, was on-site for the assembly as well.
In Flint today, Musk joined the assembly of elementary school students and announced that FCS students will have the opportunity to visit SpaceX – a company that designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft – as well as the design studio at Tesla, both located in Hawthorne, California, for a tour and Q&A session with Musk and the engineering and research teams. Participating students will be selected by the district based on academic merits and will be announced at a later date. Funding for the SpaceX trip will be provided by the Musk Foundation.
“My hope is to inspire the students of Flint to want to make things, just as I did as a child and as a young engineer,” said Musk. “I want students to know that through hard work and a belief in themselves, they can pursue and achieve the unimaginable.”