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CREC Discovery Academy Fifth-Graders Plan for Future with New STEM Project

(Wethersfield, Conn.) Starting in March, fifth-graders at CREC Discovery Academy will take inventory of their current life and map out where their future will lead with a new project titled “Future Quest,” which incorporates real-life decision making, and uses STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), writing, and research together to motivate students.

The project, part of a new STEM special class that runs from March 11 to April 26, integrates the new International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards, recently adopted by the State of Connecticut.

This is the second year the school has added the STEM special for students, with each grade taking on a unique, integrated project. Clare Neseralla, theme coach at the school, will teach the STEM Special courses. Once a week, students will go to the Science Lab to work on their project. Additionally, the project will be integrated into weekly art classes to teach students about photography and graphic design basics (pictured below).

The ISTE Standards “are designed to empower student voice and ensure that learning is a student-driven process,” according to

Students will look to the future to learn about professional salaries for full and part-time jobs, and the cost of homes, cars, insurance, and taxes. To incorporate writing, and to examine higher education, students will write business letters requesting information from trade schools or colleges, and researching how education can qualify them for different careers.

As part of the project, engineers from the Interstate 84 reconstruction project will come and talk to the students about all the engineering fields that have been hired to make their project a success.

Neseralla previously taught Future Quest as a teacher in West Hartford and said it was a favorite of her past students.

“I am thrilled to be able to duplicate this project with the students at CREC Discovery Academy,” said Neseralla. “It is never too early to inspire a student about a career and let them know about how the adult world works.”

Future Quest integrates all the ISTE Student Standards which empower Discovery’s fifth-grade students to become:

Empowered Learners - students will take an active role demonstrating technology competency through incorporating Google Drive, spreadsheets, digital photography, and graphic design.

Digital Citizens - students will research their future choices and give credit for material they incorporate in their projects.

Knowledge Constructors - students use a variety of resources using digital tools to produce a personal, creative presentation.

Innovative Designers - students will incorporate photography and graphic design in their personal, creative presentation.

Computational Thinkers - students will use electronic spreadsheets to compute the financial results of their future choices.

Creative Communicators - students will present this current and future life digitally through art, photography, and graphics.

Global Collaborators - students complete interest profiles online and reach out to professionals in their field. They will conduct interviews through email, blogging, forms, phone calls, or in-person meetings.The CREC Discovery Academy’s website is

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