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School : The Science Leadership Academy

District : School District of Philadelphia & Franklin Institute

State : Pennsylvania

Level : P-12

District Enrollment : Less than 1,000 students

Community Type : Urban

Related Tags : 1:1 Initiative

STEM Classes and Beyond

The Science Leadership Academy is a partnership high school between the School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute. SLA is an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on 21st century learning that opened its doors on September 7, 2006.

SLA provides a rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum with a focus on science, technology, mathematics and entrepreneurship. Students at SLA learn in a project-based environment where the core values of inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation and reflection are emphasized in all classes.

The Challenge

In 2006, fewer than 60% of the students in the School District of Philadelphia graduated from high school, and many families chose alternatives to the School District for their children. Science Leadership Academy was conceptualized to provide a new model for Philadelphia’s children.

SLA was to implement a fully inquiry-driven, project-based curriculum that empowered students to immerse themselves in an authentic education – in STEM classes and beyond – that allowed them to engage in real work that mattered both to them and the world.

The Solution

Since its inception, Science Leadership Academy has been a 1:1 laptop school, providing all students with the tools they need to fully engage in the pedagogical model.

Technology at SLA is used like oxygen – ubiquitous, necessary and invisible. The technology is used everywhere – in classes, in the halls, at home – it is necessary as every teacher views the laptops as an essential tool for engagement and empowerment in a modern educational setting and it is invisible, as teachers and students never view using the technology as a “special” moment of class. The laptops are simply the primary research, creation and sharing tool for all our learning.

From the U.S. Department of Education:

District Point of Contact

Chris Lehmann
Phone: 215-979-5620