Banneker High School was recently awarded Verizon Wireless’ competitive Innovation Learning Grant. As an award recipient, Banneker will partner with the Entrepreneurship Division of Arizona State University spanning a two-year period of engagement. Banneker will also join a network of over 50 participating schools from New York City, Phoenix, Chicago, Baton Rouge, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. – all of whom are focused on engaging students and teachers in design thinking, emerging technology, and strategic innovation practices.
The grant represents a continuation of Banneker’s efforts to create a fundamentally new academic experience for students by protecting and extending many of the schools’ reforms already in place. Much of this work began two years ago with the launch of the Junior Achievment Magnet Program at Banneker. Junior Achievement focuses on teaching a variety of business principles through case study instructional methodologies – and since its launch in 2015, has grown from serving 150 students to over 400.
Banneker is also in the midst of executing a $5.4. million Federal School Improvement Grant to advance its newly articulated focus on workforce development and increasing student exposure to select STEM disciplines. Banneker has prioritized Computer Technology and Manufacturing as primary areas of focus, aligning these curriculum additions with current and projected workforce demands in the metro-Atlanta area.
In short, these new programmatic upgrades represent the dawn of something new at Banneker. “This is a watershed moment in the history of our school, and we are standing squarely at the intersection of change and innovation. Our new culture of achievement now has infrastructure, but we must protect it through a plan of sustainability”, says Banneker Principal, Dr. Duke Bradley. “This is why the Verizon Innovation Grant is so important to us. I expect that it will help us to continue implementing change in a way that maintains the integrity of our academic vision for the future”.