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Fayette County Schools Opens New Innovative 'Hands-On' School

An innovative program from Fayette County Public Schools is opening its doors for the first time when classes begin on Wednesday.

Lexington’s STEAM Academy--which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math--will include 150 high school students in its inaugural class. The school will offer more authentic learning experiences and community collaboration, says director Tina Stevenson. “We going to do some research on how to grow some cost effective tomatoes and invite the community folks to work along with us and pay it forward.  Just turn around and give those vegetables to the folks in the community,” she says. Further, Stevenson says the school allows students to have more hands-on experiences and they will be involved in developing ideas on what the school will look like. “We intentionally did not develop a logo, a school mascot, or colors because we want our students to have a voice in that area,” she says. “The students will help us with our rules, our norms for the building.” The academy’s faculty will include University of Kentucky educators and some students could potentially earn college credit.   The school is currently housed in downtown Lexington at the former Johnson Elementary School but will moved to a renovated grocery building in 2015.  The student body is expected to grow to 600 over the next four years.