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$341K ‘science techbook’ to be used by Apache Junction school district


Following a review of available resources, Apache Junction Unified School District selected Discovery Education’s Science Techbook for classroom use.

Teachers and students in grades K-12 will receive access to the new digital resource that brings science instruction to life in ways that ignite student curiosity about the natural world and drive deeper engagement in learning, according to a release.

Funding for the five-year $341,000 cost of the K-12 science curriculum is to be paid out from an ESSER III grant and was approved at the Jan. 23 meeting of the AJUSD Governing Board.

The Arizona Department of Education received funding through the American Rescue Plan Act to provide new Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Fund grants to local education agencies to support local recovery needs and efforts in response to COVID-19, it states at https://www.azed.gov/esser-iii.

AJUSD serves more than 3,000 students in a 217-square mile area that includes the city of Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Peralta Trail, Queen Valley and the unincorporated areas of the Superstition Mountain foothills.

Delivered through Discovery Education Experience, the curated collection of grade-level appropriate digital content aligned to Arizona’s K-12 Academic Standards and made available to public schools statewide by Arizona’s Department of Education, the release states.

It includes ready-to use, phenomena-driven lessons that motivate students, technology tools — such as toggle-on Spanish translation — that personalize access, and teacher tools that streamline prep and grading, it states.

Through its digital, print, and blended options, Science Techbook delivers a wide range of resources that support students as they discover how science is practiced in the real world while focusing on deeper understanding and application of grade-appropriate science content.

“Apache Junction Unified School District has made creating tailored learning experiences that let students follow their curiosity a priority,” Meara Verna, AJUSD’s executive director of educational services, said in the release. “With these new resources, our teachers will have state-of-the-art tools and resources to create the dynamic lessons our students need and deserve, and I look forward to seeing the Science Techbook in action across district classrooms.”

All AJUSD educators also have access to the Discovery Educator Network. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Educator Network connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences and in-person events, fostering idea sharing and inspiration, according to the release.

“Discovery Education is excited to collaborate with the Apache Junction Unified School District’s team to support science education and the creation of student-centered learning experiences,” Nicholas Yorio, Discovery Education senior account executive, said in the release. “The district has created an innovative approach to preparing all learners for success beyond graduation, and we are proud to support their work.”

For information about Discovery Education, go to www.discoveryeducation.com.