Applied Learning strives to provide students with opportunities in engaging activities that will generate interest, spark passion, increase application of skills and knowledge, and facilitate communities that cultivate productive, civically-minded members of society. We do this through five areas: Civic Engagement, Music and Performing Arts, Physical Education and Driver’s Education, STEM + Computer Science, and Visual Arts.
Civic Engagement supports students working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities through their use of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. The programs supporting these tenants are Debate, Global Education, Linking Education and Employment Outcomes (LEEO) and Scholastic Chess. Our Debate Initiative is the largest in the world and provides opportunities for competition locally, at the state and national level. Our Chess Initiative affords all second grade students as well as all K-12 chess clubs with access to instruction and participation in a program that engages young minds and teaches critical and creative thinking skills.
Music and Performing Arts engage learners in developing passion for the arts, self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, creativity and motivation necessary for success. The skills and technical qualities involved in creating, recreating and interpreting works in the fine arts provide for lifelong appreciation. In addition, theater education provides students with an outlet for self-expression using multiple performing arts mediums. It is the only art form that combines all the performing arts, frequently within one production.
Driver’s Education serves nearly 7,000 students per year and is the largest program in the state. We serve drivers of all levels including students trying to get their learner’s permit, students with a learner’s permit who drive on the road with a certified instructor, and students who have had a permit for one year and are eligible to take their driving test. BCPS Driver’s Ed has a DMV tester and an approved DMV road course at every location and test students in our school board vehicles. We offer driver’s education at 16 of our high schools.
Physical Education strives to develop a lifelong love of physical activity as well as a healthy lifestyle in our students. Recently, the District was awarded the largest Physical Education Grant in American History. This provided all elementary schools with physical education equipment. In addition, each teacher received professional development focusing on delivering high quality standards based instruction. The results of this grant will benefit our students for decades to come.
STEM + CS reinforces transdisciplinary application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with explicit attention towards Computer Science. The synergy between STEM and Computer Science is addressed in multiple programs and local, regional, national and international competitions available to preK – grade 12 students. STEM+CS programs include the SECME STEM Olympiad, Environmental Stewardship, Edible Schoolyard Gardening, Applied STEM through Problem-Based Learning, and Computer Science including coding, robotics, and other physical computing. Our programs reach beyond the classroom and the school day to involve the entire community in the application of learning across all disciplines to solve the problems of today and create the innovators ready to solve the problems of tomorrow.
Visual Arts encourage creativity and self-expression that carry over into other content areas. Through an integrated, interdisciplinary approach, the visual arts provide a safe environment for the students to share their voice in a variety of mediums. We are committed to working collaboratively to continue to build and sustain the best arts programs possible.