The Cherokee County School District has launched a three-year partnership with a global education leader to improve STEM learning opportunities for elementary and middle school students.

CCSD, already recognized nationally for its commitment to STEM education, now is working with Discovery Education, part of the same company as the Discovery TV network, so its classroom resources and professional development for teachers can enhance lessons and incorporate more real-world learning experiences.

For the kickoff event held Monday at CCSD’s central offices, Cindy Moss, the company’s vice president of global STEM initiatives, led a crowd of CCSD teachers, administrators and school partners from STEM businesses and organizations, in hands-on activities to better understand what Discovery Education will deliver to students.

“We’re very excited about partnership with Discovery Ed – not only do they have a huge STEM emphasis in all that they do, they also see that it takes not just rigor and relevance, but also relationships,” Superintendent Brian Hightower said in a statement. “We want our kids to become experts, to develop creative problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, as well as collaboration and other key soft skills, and Discovery Ed offers it all with an outstanding reputation.”

The partnership’s benefits include Discovery Ed curriculum and other instructional resources, 15 days of professional development and 10 days of coaching for the teachers and administrators at CCSD’s middle schools and four of its STEM Academy elementary schools.

Hightower said he envisions the knowledge and skills gained by teachers through this partnership will spread districtwide, much as how the STEM Academies’ teachers lesson plans and best practices have been shared to the benefit of all students.

In addition to school district employees, more than a dozen STEM business partners from the community attended the event: Atlanta Braves Education Outreach, Captain Planet Foundation, Cherokee County Educational Foundation, Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Cobb EMC, Delphi Global, Firestorm Robotics, Kennesaw State University, Lexis Coatings, Manley Spangler Smith Architects, Reinhardt University, Science of Sport, Technical Resource Solutions and Zoo Atlanta.

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