Teaching AI: Exploring New Frontiers For Learning

Contributed by Michelle Zimmerman

Imagine a small secondary school in a converted city hall next to a library and a park, on a river, in a vibrant urban core. Imagine every student conducting community-connected projects, studying computer science, and graduating from high school with an AA degree.

You’re imaging Renton Prep, a microschool at the south end of Lake Washington in bustling downtown Renton, a suburban Seattle city that is home of the Boeing 737 and the Seahawks NFL training facility.

Michelle Zimmerman (@mrzphd) is the Executive Director of Renton Prep Christian School and Amazing Grace Elementary in Seattle, schools her grandmother started almost 60 years ago.

Like her own hybrid high school experience combining dual enrollment courses and work experiences, Zimmerman created a secondary school where learners engage with integrated community connected projects that prepare them to enroll full time as juniors at local community colleges. Read more.

Featured FETC® Speaker

Michelle Zimmerman

Director of Innovative Teaching and Learning Sciences
Renton Prep (Wash.)

Michelle Zimmerman, PhD, has taught all grades from Pre-K through 10th with a focus on middle and high school since 2009. She has presented her research across the US and Canada since 2007, FETC, ISTE, TCEA, NCCE, CRESST, BLC, NNSTOY, The Learning Counsel, SXSWedu, New York Academy of Sciences, UCLA, NYU, and AERA among others The evidence of her original research and theory into practice can be seen in designing Renton Prep. She was thrilled to see the school become FETC STEM Excellence Award Finalist for 2016 as top 3 STEM Middle Schools, Microsoft Showcase School, and receiving multiple education awards. She is Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Surface Expert.