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Newly Opened Austin School for the Driven Teaches Kids to Start and Stop Fires – Sparking Education with an Experiential Approach

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Austin School for the Driven (Driven) is currently shifting the paradigm of what middle school education looks like, just weeks after opening its doors on August 7. In an initiative that rewrites outdated fire-prevention models, Driven’s new program actually teaches students how to safely start and extinguish electrical fires. The Electrical Fires @ Driven program is set for September 7th and serves as a blazing example of Driven’s foundational Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM)-focused pedagogical model, while also embracing social emotional learning (SEL).

“Fires are one of the most terrifying accidents that can happen in a home or school,” said Kenneth Hawthorn, founder of Driven. “And unfortunately, most people are conditioned to ‘grab the kids and run.’ But this absolutely misses a crucial window of opportunity for de-escalation. Because when noticed early, most fires start off small and can be stopped before they become devastating.”

Cool heads save lives. And if everyone in the building is trained to remain calm and put out fires safely, chances are very good that catastrophe can be averted. Our classes empower students by giving them a hacker mindset – we offer them the self-agency to make informed decisions and take control during emergency situations. And that creates meaningful learning with a hyper-alert level of student engagement. We want kids to be curious, but also safe.”

“The cost to refill a fire extinguisher used for training is negligible compared to the potential loss of life and property,” Hawthorn said. “And most schools have out-of-date fire extinguishers that could easily be repurposed for practical, free training. A simple phone call to your local fire department can get you started with a whole new educational approach for your kids.”

Fire Safety and a Hacker Mindset – STEAM Meets SEL

Driven’s program also encompasses broader SEL aspects: “Yes, students are learning about math and science. But ultimately, it’s about understanding the cost of human life and suffering, along with the environmental and economic costs of uncontrolled fires. And it’s a good example of how we take one activity, break it down, and use it for a broad range of STEAM-based lessons,” Hawthorn explained.

Driven is a public benefit corporation uniquely situated in a 3,000-square-foot Makerspace, complemented by a fully equipped commercial kitchen. Educating students aged 9-13, the school artfully blends the realms of academia and real-world application. Whether cooking nutritious meals, forging their own utensils, or starting and putting out fires, students get an education that is as intellectually hands-on as it gets.

Small Community, Big Equality Impact

Capped at 24 students, Driven prides itself on fostering a tight-knit community of like-minded families and educators. And with a student-to-teacher ratio between 4:1 and 12:1, individualized attention is not only the goal, but also guaranteed.

“We don’t just preach about equality – we practice it,” said Hawthorn. “Which is why we treat our educators right. Teachers are offered permanent employment with the highest salary in Austin – nearly double the average. Along with our high bar of excellence, this ensures a quality, dedicated staff. Driven is also currently raising $400,000 for full-ride scholarships with an aim to offer 100% merit-based admissions to the most qualified, not the most privileged.”

For more information on the upcoming fire safety program, future events, or Driven’s academic mandate, visit them at: And follow Driven on social media: Facebook and Instagram.

Media Contact: 

Kenneth Hawthorn
[email protected] 

SOURCE Austin School for the Driven

Originally published at–sparking-education-with-an-experiential-approach-301915239.html
Images courtesy of PixaBay

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