International Baccalaureate Programs Heat Up Charlotte

Written by Stacey Andell for Schools K-12

Davidson IB Middle Wins Schools of Distinction Award

The science program at Davidson IB Middle, one of the schools in the Charlotte – Mecklenburg area, has been recognized as a School of Distinction by Intel and Scholastic.  Intel, the world renowned computer chip maker, and Scholastic, a leader in textbooks and educational materials, chose Davidson for honors in the field of science achievement, bringing both pride and bragging rights to Charlotte schools. As the principal of Davidson states, “This award is a testament to the dedication of my students, teachers, parents and the community.  My entire staff works together to make sure our students get an excellent education.”

How Davidson was Chosen

Intel and Scholastic seem to agree.   They awarded Davidson the Schools of Distinction Award after evaluating the school on a number of criteria.   Among other things, Davidson showed its strengths in strategies for incorporating critical thinking skills; hands – on investigative experiences, and project – based learning.   Davidson, like other Charlotte schools, is challenging the next generation of scientists and engineers with its comprehensive science program.   The Intel and Scholastic award will help the school to further its science education goals and set a positive example for other Charlotte schools in the areas of science education.
The winning schools were chosen in each of the following eight categories: academic achievement, literacy achievement, mathematics achievement, science achievement, technology excellence, leadership excellence, professional development, and collaboration and teamwork.   Davidson, as an exceptional Charlotte school, looks forward to using this award to help continue to build a competitive science program and lead the nation in science education innovation.
What Does Winning Mean for Davidson and Charlotte Schools?

As recipients of this prestigious award, Davidson IB Middle will receive a $10,000 grant from the Intel Foundation and several other prizes ranging from curriculum materials and professional development resources to computer hardware and software.   All of these things will help Davidson stay on the cutting edge of science education and fulfill the goal of constant improvement and innovation in educating future scientists.   In addition to these monetary prizes, the school also puts Charlotte schools in the map as a place of science and math strength among national secondary schools.

What’s Special About Davidson

Davidson is one of many Charlotte schools that is taking the forefront in science education and it shows.   While Davidson has won national recognition for its programs, the real work is the daily learning that takes places at Davidson and other Charlotte schools.   As part of the International Baccalaureate Program, Davidson focuses on providing real world connections between textbook learning and applications.   Some of the projects done at Davidson serve as a model for other Charlotte schools.   These projects included using a special backyard stream to learn about biology as well as real world chemistry applications, such as water quality tests.

Davidson is lucky to have many local community partners to help in its quest for high level science education.   As a Charlotte school, Davidson works alongside Davidson College on environmental studies projects with university professors and resources.   Because of its unique position, Davidson has won both state and national competitions, leading to its rank of 15 overall in the United States.