STEAM Lab School

Establishing a High / Vocational School in Belize

The STEAM Lab School (SLS) will be an innovative secondary school for Belize that provides young people with enriching pathways to future-forward education and career opportunities. The school will span 1st through 4th Forms (9th to 12th grade equivalent) and is envisioned to have 300 students once fully operational. The SLS will encourages experimentation and innovation by its student and faculty bodies through its integrated, inquiry- and problem-based learning approaches. The school will focus its pedagogy and curriculum on contemporary teaching and learning practices through an integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education while at the same time providing a full curriculum for students including: Belizean studies, foreign languages, ethics and systems thinking. In its experimental nature, the school is designed to push the frontiers of secondary education in Belize.

MIT’s approach is grounded in a co-design process that emphasizes inclusive co-creation and capacity building when designing for and with local communities that are affected by the identified challenges. Co-creation with Belize’s local stakeholder communities—teachers, administrators, parents, community members, business people and interested third parties—is at the heart of MIT’s approach.

The MIT Team works with the SLS teachers, educators and administrators to co-design the curriculum and lesson plans, support teacher professional development, support the implementation of a school-wide internship program, and co-design the school’s policies and procedures. The SLS project, implements the Conceptual Design for the STEAM Lab School we developed in 2020.

For the implementation of the SLS, I serve as project director and am responsible for overall project administration and MIT’s contributions to the project. In addition to contributions on policy and administrative processes, curriculum and teacher professional development I lead education technology, open educational resources and construction coordination for the MIT team.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Open Learning Projects / MIT J-WEL

Key Collaborators: David Birnbach (MIT, Sloan School of Management), Kirky DeLong (MIT, J-WEL), Joe Diaz* (MIT, J-WEL), Emily Glass* (MIT, Consultant), Yolanda Gongorra* (Belize Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology), Alex Hargroder (MIT, Education Arcade), Eric Klopfer (MIT, Comparative Media Studies/ Education Arcade), Vijay Kumar (MIT, J-WEL), Alice Liao (MIT, Education Arcade), Dian Maheia* (Belize Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology), John Newport* (STEAM Lab School), Judy Perry* (MIT, Education Arcade), Claudia Urrea* (MIT, J-WEL)

Funding Source: Belize Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology