News release from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership:
Northeast Indiana’s First New Tech Middle School Now Open
(August 20, 2013) – As Fort Wayne Community School students headed back to school yesterday, some of the district’s seventh and eighth grade students entered Northeast Indiana’s first New Tech middle school, which opened at Towles Intermediate School. The Towles New Tech middle school program was provided seed funding by the Talent Initiative, which also helped fund the region’s six New Tech high schools.
Like New Tech high schools, Towles New Tech middle school will provide students with a project-based learning model that emphasizes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. Students will work in a team setting, which differs from the traditional classroom lecture setting. New Tech schools focus on developing 21st century skills, including oral and written communication, collaboration, working in teams, creativity and presentation skills.
“We are excited to start a new school year as Towles New Tech,” said Tim Captain, Towles New Tech Director. “Because of their Montessori background, our students are already skilled in working in small groups as well as working independently to complete projects. We believe New Tech provides a great opportunity to expand their 21st Century skills while solving real-world problems and establishes an even stronger foundation for moving into New Tech Academy at Wayne High School where they will continue their educational journey to be ready for college or a career.”
New Tech Academy at Wayne High School is one of six New Tech high schools in Northeast Indiana. Northeast Indiana has the second highest concentration of New Tech high schools in the country.
“As more and more jobs require STEM-related skills, it’s critical that students have access to educational opportunities like the New Tech model. Fort Wayne Community Schools is to be congratulated for its leadership. This is a great example of our region’s efforts to align talent development to the needs of employers,” said John Sampson, President and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.
The Talent Initiative, which was established with a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., focuses on accelerating education and training services in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The initiative has been expanded to the Big Goal Collaborative, which is a cradle-to-career effort to help improve educational and career outcomes for children and adults in Northeast Indiana. The Big Goal works to increase the number of Northeast Indiana residents with a high quality degree or credential to 60% by 2025. The Talent Initiative and the Big Goal Collaborative are both overseen by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.
About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.