Louisa Middle School is top user of Learning Blade in nation

Aug 17, 2017

With nearly 30,000 completed Learning Blade lessons, students at Louisa Middle School have completed more online STEM career awareness lessons than any other school in the country.

The Learning Blade system, which addresses the need for STEM career awareness and academic relevance in middle school, introduces more than 100 STEM careers and technologies through an entertaining game-based format. In the web-based system, students pursue engaging missions that solve problems, like helping an injured dolphin or building an orphanage after an earthquake.

LIFT supported piloting the Learning Blade system in an effort to increase Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) interest and STEM career awareness in 35 Kentucky middle schools in 2015. The pilot program was also made possible through a grant provided to Ashland Community and Technical College through the American Electric Power Foundation.

LIFT is a public-private partnership, and a Manufacturing USA institute, committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future.

“Learning Blade is changing students’ conversations about careers,” said Mia Brown, Credits Count program director for ACTC.  “Access to the Learning Blade system allows students to see advanced manufacturing and other STEM fields as viable career options.”

Statewide, students completed 63,000 online Learning Blade STEM lessons in areas such as bioengineering, energy, robotics, mathematics, entrepreneurship, agriculture and genetics.

“The innovative approach to learning employed by Learning Blade engages more students in STEM courses and is key to attracting more young people to exciting careers in advanced manufacturing today,” said Emily DeRocco, education and workforce development director, LIFT.

A student’s performance is based on responses to questions and problems that show how STEM professionals use math and English skills in their jobs. Schools nationwide have successfully used this system across 28 states since it launched three years ago. 

A recent report by Battelle Education confirms that the Learning Blade system achieves its primary goals of increasing STEM career awareness and interest and demonstrating the relevance of academics to real-life jobs. Research-based data show that Learning Blade Introduces STEM careers and technologies to a wide range of students.

After using Learning Blade, 70 percent of students confirmed they learned about new careers and 75 percent of students said they learned about new technology. Using Learning Blade, the number of students who said, “I would like to be an engineer or scientist in the future” increased by 97 percent.

“Helping teachers access standards-based education is one of the key technologies in Learning Blade,” said Dr. Dane Boyington, co-owner of Learning Blade. “We recognize the trend in education is to provide meaningful feedback to parents and students alike as it relates to their performance compared to individual standards and that is why every question in Learning Blade is indexed to standards.”

“Using technology to deliver real-world experiences is the future of teaching,” said Sheila Boyington, co-owner and president of Thinking Media. “Our digital platform brings STEM career awareness to students and provides them with an opportunity to get on track for in-demand careers.”