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P21®-Pitsco Education partnership puts 21st-century learning theory into action

Pitsco Education's collaboration with the Partnership for 21st Century Learning helps expand a powerful shared vision for students

Published April 25, 2018

PITTSBURG, KS (April 25, 2018) – Pitsco Education has been a pioneer in innovative classroom solutions that emphasize social and emotional development and real-world relevancy. But the company's voice has reached beyond individual classrooms to participate in a national conversation about the future of education. Its most recent collaboration, with the organization P21®, is another step in expanding a powerful shared vision for students.

(Printable PDF) (Leaders magazine: P21-Pitsco Education Partnership)

The core mission of P21, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, involves the forging of a coalition of like-minded organizations with a stake in the field of education. According to the organization, "P21 members play an active and crucial role in guiding policy and activities on 21st century readiness for every student."

Proud to be a member alongside such highly effective organizations as Destination Imagination and the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF), Pitsco Education has a presence on P21's Strategic Council through its Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Stephan Turnipseed.

Turnipseed, an impassioned advocate for hands-on learning, has had a vibrant career in education, previously serving as the president of LEGO® Education North America, the chairman for the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, and EVP and CSO of Destination Imagination.

"In a societal landscape of astounding complexity, how do we draw the map to 21st-century success for our young people?" asked Turnipseed. "No one person or organization has the full picture. We need a synergy of partnerships, each bringing expertise and capacity to fulfill a shared vision. Just as Pitsco brings knowledge to life for students through hands-on learning, Pitsco and our partners bring a vision for education to life through collaboration in communities across the nation and world."

Part of that vision, as described by P21, is the recognition that "21st century learning environments and opportunities are essential to prepare all students for the challenges of work, life, and citizenship in the 21st century and beyond. . . ." In this crucial area, Pitsco has been leading by example for more than 40 years.

Matt Frankenbery, vice president of education at Pitsco, elaborated on Pitsco's leadership philosophy. "Thought leadership in education is about more than just generating valuable thoughts. It is about putting thought into practice."

Frankenbery recently had the opportunity to share a piece of Pitsco's vision at the Patterns of Innovation conference held in Napa, California. The conference was organized by P21 and celebrated the collaborative spirit that P21 extols. The stated goal was to share 21st-century learning practices that have demonstrated success.

Frankenbery copresented with John Chaffee, CEO of NCEast Alliance, an economic development organization serving eastern North Carolina. The two discussed the success of STEM East, an NCEast Alliance initiative that has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Pitsco for seven years. STEM East has so far launched 84 STEM Centers in middle schools in the state, furthering the quest to create a true K12 to Career pipeline supporting the development of regional industries.

Chaffee discussed economic and workforce development aspects of STEM East, while Frankenbery discussed the initiative from an education perspective. "The importance of STEM education in high school has been rightly emphasized in recent years," said Frankenbery. "But to truly build a STEM-literate pipeline of workers, the focus must be put on STEM at the elementary and middle school levels."

Pitsco's call for hands-on, minds-on education mirrors the larger effort the company is involved in with its partners – the sharing of knowledge and strengths to create a brighter future for young people.




Pitsco Education is the leading provider of hands-on K-12 STEM solutions. STEM Education prepares learners for the future through the integration of science, technology, engineering, and math concepts using relevant hands-on applications to connect school, community, and work. Our various products, activities, curriculum, and solutions promote positive learning experiences and continued classroom success.

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“They forget it’s school. They really do. I had roughly 30 percent participation at the beginning of the school year. Now, I am actually averaging somewhere around 80 percent participation. It is a very high number.”

– Alvin Wiggins, STEM lab facilitator, Dothan City Schools, Dothan, Alabama

We enable young learners to develop the mind-set, skill set, and tool set needed for future success.

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