By Mark Kelly
Alabama News Center
Birmingham’s Bush Hills STEAM Academy is now home to the latest Ed Farm Space, a dedicated area for a new transformative learning program, in partnership with Birmingham City Schools and tech and education nonprofit Ed Farm. The program uses advanced tools that help students gain future-focused skills, learn with disruptive technologies, and have their creativity inspired.
Bush Hills Academy welcomed local leaders last week to a ribbon-cutting for the new space. The academy is Birmingham City Schools’ first science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) school. Thanks to the Ed Farm Space, students at Bush Hills will have access to a range of resources, including a podcasting studio, a video lab, a fabrication lab, makerspace, and a code lab that introduces early concepts of computer science using Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum.
“We are extremely happy to have this relationship with Ed Farm,” said Mark Sullivan, superintendent of Birmingham City Schools. “Engaging our students with technology is key to preparing them for the future.”
Reimagining the future of education to meet the evolving needs of students is a critical focus of Ed Farm, CEO Waymond Jackson noted. The new space at Bush Hills is part of advancing the school’s digital learning strategy by offering new technology to students and staff in an inclusive and modern learning environment.
“Bringing Ed Farm Spaces to Bush Hills helps bridge the technology gap and helps fund the STEAM program,” Jackson said. “We’re providing tools and resources necessary to create an intentional learning experience that enables students to pursue career and entrepreneurial aspirations.
“We are working to increase opportunities and access for underserved populations,” Jackson added.
Following the ribbon-cutting, those in attendance were able to see student demonstrations of the resources available in the new space. Audio and video production suites, e-gaming, and a podcast conducted as the event took place were among the resources showcased.
Headquartered in Birmingham, Ed Farm was launched in 2020 with the mission of transforming classrooms to uplift communities. In January 2021, it announced the Propel Center, a virtual and physical campus for the nation’s 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Ed Farm offers cutting-edge virtual and face-to-face professional learning, personalized innovation coaching, immersive learning experiences, and transferable knowledge, strategies and skills for students’ and teachers’ transformational use of technology. Alabama Power and parent Southern Company are among Ed Farm’s supporters.
Bush Hills STEAM Academy is located in Birmingham’s historic Bush Hills community, near the campus of Birmingham-Southern College. The school offers students in grades 6-8 a challenging academic curriculum, six unified arts options, and a wide range of extracurricular and leadership opportunities. The school’s stated mission is, “Cultivating the leaders of tomorrow.”