Originally published May 11th, 2018

On May 2nd-3rd, we hosted our 13th Annual National Forum in Chicago: Reimagining Education Through Real-World Learning. The Forum raised awareness of the opportunity and skills gap, explored new definitions of success, highlighted innovative school and pedagogical models, and recognized and celebrated success stories across country.

We were thrilled to sell out this year’s Forum. Attendees included thought-leaders, educators, and innovators who came together to explore real-world learning. Here’s just a few of the highlights.

We kicked things off with our pre-Forum STC Network meeting to discuss next steps for using our Real-World Learning Rubric:

Educators discuss how they are using the Real-World Learning Rubric

Wednesday began bright and early with coffee and swag:

Where Real-World Success Begins!

We loved hearing from student speakers who shared how the internship experience is a crucial part of real-world learning:

Our first round of breakout sessions was packed and enthusiastic:


There was so many thought-provoking moments during the Forum, where we considered personalized learning, the impact of A.I. on education, and more:


We even witnessed real-world learning in action as a team of students came in to produce a film about the event (stay tuned for that!):

The Luncheon on Wednesday brought a moment we’d all been waiting for: an awards ceremony that celebrated the winners of the 2018 RFK Urban Education Awards and honored John Rogers, Jr. with the Leaders That Can Award.

And the winners are: Sylesha Brewer, Jacquelyn Hernandez, and Richard Clark


Congratulations to…

  • Richard F. Clark. St Martin de Porres (HS, faith, Cleveland): School Leader winner
  • Sylesha Brewer, LEARN Campbell (K5, charter, Chicago): Teacher winner
  • Jacquelyn Hernandez, 12th grade, MESA Charter (charter, NYC): Student winner

Stay tuned for spotlight features on the winners coming to the blog!

Chris Kennedy congratulates John Rogers, Jr. on his Leader That Can Award

To close out Wednesday, we bid a fond farewell to the wonderful Executive Director of STC Chicago, Jennifer, who is moving on to her next great opportunity!

Day 2 kicked off with study tours…

Students at Polaris work to grow their “Points of Polaris”, including compassion, critical thinking, exploration, active citizenship, and integrity.

ChiTech welcomed STC with open arms

Then students talked with educators about their approach to project-based learning.

After study tours, attendees reconvened to share takeaways and laughs.

Finally, we closed the Forum with an amazing Plenary Panel that highlighted the impressive progress that Chicago Public Schools has made over the last two decades.

(Photo credit: 1871/Gregory Rothstein)

Thank you for an amazing 13th Forum! We’re already inspired for next year (mark your calendars for May 2019 in Newark!)

In the meantime, stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook and Twitter