The Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy is paving the road towards new American innovators, and the world is taking notice.
The school, which was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine last week, launched a year and a half ago. There, the students are called “innovators,” and they receive a hardcore focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills. IBM — the academy’s partner and a key developer of the curriculum — promises graduates a $40,000-plus opportunity at the company upon graduation, which takes six years instead of the traditional four; the extra two years means they walk away with an associate’s degree on top of their high school diploma.
The school bears the name of Goode, who, in 1885, was the first African American woman ever granted a patent.
Laura Gaze, Director, IP Solutions: This model is incredible, and certainly commendable. For years, we’ve heard that America is falling behind developing nations in science and math performance and homegrown innovation, and a corporate partner like IBM trying to tackle the problem head on is exactly the kind of action that is needed. This model has the potential to be very powerful. As the school matures and the first graduates enter IBM, it will be interesting to see how they perform and, if successful, whether this could ultimately signal a shift in the entire educational structure of our nation.