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More 21st Century Skills Coming to Local School Districts - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

More 21st Century Skills Coming to Local School Districts

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Xcel Energy announced a $25,000 donation to area school districts today at noon.
 
Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead Public Schools will be using those funds to try to integrate more 21st Century job skills into their curriculum.

Fargo South High School Biology Teacher Andrea Harmon says her classes use technology every day.

"In the past it was very much a...the teacher stands and gives some information and then they're writing down information," she says.

But today with the announcement of $25,000 from Xcel Energy, the three school districts hope they can take another step toward more project-based learning experiences.

"Where you present a problem and students try to solve that problem by using all those different skills that they've learned," says Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schatz.

The districts hope to improve 21st century skills: communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking, starting with sending instructors to learn about skills needed in the field.

"They can bring that back to the classroom and then apply the curriculum to those types of skills," says Schatz.

Officials at the conference say there are 6,000 open jobs in our area.

"You the students have to fill those job opportunities and we need those skills to be in STEM," says Xcel Energy Board Chair President & CEO Ben Fowke.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.  Xcel spends millions in infrastructure and says they want to give back to the future, too.
"We're going to see half of our labor force retire in the next 10 years," says Fowke.

Harmon says she thinks students in her classroom will take away more having more ownership in their learning.

"It's not about memorizing anymore, it's now about being able to understand it and be able to do with it," she says.

 There has been a lot of discussion lately about common core standards. Fargo Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schatz says their current curriculum is standards-based and the common core is part of that.


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