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Ed Farm ‘Spaces’ initiative launches first Innovation Library at Alabama school

Ed Farm, in partnership with Birmingham city schools, on Friday unveiled the South Hampton Innovation Library, the organization’s first learning space designed through its Ed Farm “Spaces” initiative.

The goal of Spaces is to further Ed Farm’s vision to create an inventive world where all people have access to the tools they need to fill or create the jobs of the future and provides cutting-edge STEM opportunities for students and teachers in Birmingham, according to a press release.

“Where students learn matters, and our goal is to create spaces – where traditionally underserved students learn – that inspire creativity, imagination and collaboration,” Waymond Jackson, president of Ed Farm, said in the release. “Modern technology and industry require modern teaching and learning. The South Hampton Innovation Library is the first of several innovative learning spaces that will be designed by Ed Farm and use technology and dedicated Ed Farm programming to prepare students and teachers for the future of work. Ultimately, these spaces will help remove barriers to technology and training that often prevent traditionally marginalized populations from successfully entering the innovation economy and can be replicated throughout Birmingham and the state of Alabama.”

A ribbon-cutting for the Innovation Library was held at South Hampton K-8 Elementary on Friday.

“I am excited about this latest development in our BCS/Ed Farm partnership,” said Birmingham Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan. “I know that this future-focused learning environment will make a significant difference in the continued academic achievement of our scholars.”

The goal of the new Ed Farm Spaces is for teachers and students to experience the future of learning. With an emphasis on technology-based learning that includes coding, design, collaboration and cultivating change, these spaces are designed to incorporate Ed Farm curriculum and hands-on guidance from its staff.

The South Hampton Innovation Library includes learning labs throughout the space that focus on making, tinkering, engineering and design thinking, the release says. Learners will be immersed in activities that use top-of-the-line technologies, such as the MakerBot 3D printer, Sphero robot kits, littleBits STEM kits, hands-on Osmo coding kits, ThinkLive! DJing Turntable and AR/VR headsets. These activities will allow them to think more critically about their learning and develop new ways of problem solving.

In addition, the space leverages innovative technologies from Apple, including MacBook, Apple TV, iPad and Apple Pencil, and more to bring the learning experience to life.

“The types of skills that will lead our students to become linchpins in the innovation economy require more than traditional learning spaces can facilitate,” said Daniel Whitt, Learning Innovations director, Ed Farm. “Ed Farm Spaces creates the flexibility, the inspiration and the equipment necessary to activate our students for the future.”

By reimagining and creating learning spaces that inspire and provide enhanced future-focused teaching and learning, all students will be engaged and energized to learn and prepared for what’s next. Likewise, Ed Farm Spaces is aligned with the Ed Farm Student and Teacher Fellows programs that equip both students and teachers with the tools needed to fully take advantage of the technology within the space.

Ed Farm is a tech and education startup nonprofit headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. It launched in February 2020 with founding support from Apple and Alabama Power. Ed Farm creates programs designed to engage students, educators and adult learners in innovative digital skills experiences that better prepare them for the 21st century workforce. Moving forward, Ed Farm is expanding its programming and footprint across the country, building on the existing programming and work taking place in Birmingham.

For more information, contact Brittany Hollis, manager of Marketing & Strategic Initiatives, at 404-545-1036 or brittany@edfarm.org.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

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