Real World Problems in the ClassroomStudents Become the ResearcherShared Learning SpacesStudent OwnershipCurriculum AlignmentCross-CurriculumPartnershipsA collaborative program created by the ECISD Innovation Department
Ector County ISD (ECISD) has taken a novel approach to teaching and learning through innovative inquiry and problem-based experiences, as well as authentic educator professional development. Its PICK Education collaborative connects students and teachers with real world experiences through university and institute partnerships, pushing them to ask and help answer real world questions.
Founded by the Innovation Department at ECISD, PICK Education is currently working with ten university partners on data analysis in medical research, citizen science, and engineering challenges. Some of these universities include Tulane University, the University of Maryland, Texas Tech University, San Francisco State University, and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. “Through these collaborations, students’ findings have made significant advancements in scientific research while learning state requirements in the process,” said Jason Osborne, Ector County ISD’s chief innovation officer.
But the program is making a difference for its educators, too. “It was not only a once in a lifetime experience for some of these kids, it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for me,” said Elizabeth Gray, an AVID Coordinator and the PICK Education teacher ambassador at Falcon Early College High School. “These kids are now the experts. And they will be able to teach what they learned and how to do the experiment to their fellow students. And I just think that’s fantastic.”
According to Osborne, the goal of PICK Education is to change the educational experience for all: “Students gain ownership of their education, teachers gain authentic training experiences, and partners gain contributions to data as well as a new generation of potential undergraduate students, researchers, or team members.” #IAmTXEd
“Programs like this are few and far between but I think they are on the leading edge...this is what we're going to see in the next decade. This is not something you normally see in school districts, this is something that's going to be brand-new and I think it will be replicated. I suspect this will be published, people are going to find out about this and be replicating this around the country.”
-Dr. Greg Gage, Neuroscientist and Owner of Backyard Brains
"As a Superintendent in Ector County ISD, I cannot describe how excited I am about the things that are happening with PICK Education. While working with our curriculum department, PICK Education blends real world learning with the requirements that we have from the State-mandated knowledge and skills that our students need. PICK Education allows students to create learning rather than just receiving learning. I am very pleased with the opportunities that are being afforded to our students."-Tom Crowe, ECISD Superintendent
“I got to be the teacher ambassador for Pick Education here at Falcon and I thought it was fantastic. It was not only a once in a lifetime experience for some of these kids, it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for me. I absolutely love the ambassador aspect of it, these kids are now the experts. And they will be able to teach what they did learn and how to do the experiment to their fellow students. And I just think that’s fantastic.”
-Elizabeth Gray, ECISD AVID Coordinator and Falcon Early College High School Instructor