Aligned to the Common Core State Standards Initiative in both Mathematics and English Language Arts, as well as the Next Generation Science Standards, Future Genius meets the needs of today’s middle schools by providing students with engaging sustainability education programs designed to make a real difference.
“The Common Core asks students to read stories and literature, as well as more complex texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas such as science and social studies. Students will be challenged and asked questions that push them to refer back to what they’ve read. This stresses critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are required for success in college, career, and life.” -(English Language Arts Standards, Common Core State Standards Initiative website)
Every Future Genius program develops skills that address English Language Arts anchor standards, including:
-Participate in conversations and collaborations to build on others’ ideas (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1)
-Present information and supporting evidence in an organized, developed way (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4)
-Make strategic use of digital media to express information and enhance understanding (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5)
Our programs also align with other ELA standards that, while often overlooked in education, are essential in most work environments. This is accomplished authentically through activities centered on research, collaboration, design, and presentation. Such standards are:
-Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.3)
-Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.4)
-Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.5)
Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice are addressed daily, especially in Beta Masters:
-Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them (CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1)
-Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others (CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP3)
-Use appropriate tools strategically (CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP5)
Future Genius also provides students with an opportunity to master the Next Generation Science Standards through Engineering Design. Every Future Genius program “emphasizes engineering design practices that all citizens should learn. For example, students are expected to be able to define problems—situations that people wish to change—by specifying criteria and constraints for acceptable solutions.” Our programs, by nature of its direct connection to the Global Goals, are “critical to undertaking the world’s challenges, and exposure to engineering activities can spark interest in the study of STEM or future careers (National Science Foundation, 2010). This early engagement is particularly important for students who have traditionally not considered science as a possible career choice, including females and students from multiple languages and cultures in this global community. (NGSS Appendix I – Engineering Design)”
What separates Future Genius from other Out-of-School Time (OST) enrichment is the authentic exploration of future career pathways. Our students step into roles that mimic specialized professionals (video game designer, environmental scientist, political campaigner, and marketing director). As a result, middle school youth become invested in creating relevant work full of ownership and purpose.
This is learning that is fun. Learning that is worthwhile. Learning that is engaging. Learning that prepares students for an uncertain world, for careers that may not currently exist, for problems that impact us globally. This is what Future Genius accomplishes through all of its programs. Whether in Beta Masters, Eco Genius, Election, or Team Elektra, Future Genius students are ready to make a meaningful impact in their community.