Authentic and enchanting content provides a captivating learning experience and drives academic and personal growth 

Student inquiry + ingenuity are developed and encouraged 

watch some magic

Watch 2nd graders design and build a new playground based on simple machines, and 4th graders as they create their "Dream Cars."

A captivating learning experience: what it means and how we get there

An intensive STEAM focus 

A comprehensive education in science, technology, engineering, math and the arts promotes well-rounded skills and interests  

  • Technology integration allows students access content, explore new ideas, and apply knowledge to real-world situations 

  • Music programs begin in early grades with sound learning and continue into orchestra and band

  • Singapore math instruction teaches math using a three step process: concrete, pictorial, and abstract steps stimulate mastery of fewer concepts in greater detail

  • Students from kindergarten through high school learn how to problem-solve and think creatively through design principles incorporated into all classes and through age-appropriate engineering classes 

  • After-school STEAM-infused classes extend learning beyond the school day and allow students to enrich themselves in content that fits their interests and builds skills critical to the 21st century job market

A project-based learning environment

Hands-on and realistic projects engage students in cross-curriculum learning that encourages collaboration and critical thinking in preparation for 21st century coursework and careers

  • 1st grade students design and test airplanes to serve commercial, military and stunt purposes after learning about Leonardo DaVinci, the Wright Brothers, and the various forces that act on airplanes

  • 3rd graders explore how heat is produced, transferred, and measured and partner with community members and experts to learn how Atlanta is affected by unexpected winter weather, particularly during the 'Atlanta Snowpocalypse’ of 2014. They then develop action kits that include prototypes of survival products invented by the students

  • 5th graders learn economics, math, and research skills to work with local entrepreneurs in developing a comprehensive business portfolio. Students participate in the Drew “Shark Tank”, where they attempted to persuade the “sharks” (real entrepreneurs) to invest in their business

Abundant enrichment opportunities

Students curiosity is nurtured with choices from coursework that sparks their interest and fosters a love for learning

  • Two enrichment periods daily are available to students across grade levels during school hours 

  • Enrichment courses include urban taiko, puppetry arts, chess, cooking, Spanish, golf, dance, general music, chorus, Mandarin, martial arts, yoga and more

  • RISE (recreation. innovation. STEAMulation. education.) after-school programming offers academic, recreational and athletic activities to 400 students daily which are designed to supplement and enhance students’ learning 

  • Strategic partnerships with organizations like The Woodruff Arts Center and Lego expose students to new skills and opportunities and provide new interests and academic growth outside of the regular school day 

The role of student choice 

Within project-based learning and enrichment activities, students are in charge of their own learning and have the freedom to explore topics that are of interest to them 

  • Student interest and engagement informs key instructional choices made by teachers through collaborative planning 

  • Students are given the freedom and flexibility to take learning to the next level and go above and beyond the intended end result of a project, often incorporating their own interests and talents into a project 

  • Projects are fluid to allow student voice and personal flair to creatively influence outcomes 

  • Older students are able to choose which enrichment classes interest them the most and can concentrate in those areas

Social Impact & Local Relevance

By weaving in authentic topics touching on both social justice and the immediate community, students become even more invested in their learning 

  • Learning at Drew is inspired by local circumstances- projects engage students in social justice issues and service so that students can positively impact the community 

  • Community stakeholders play an active role in day-to-day learning and authentic public audiences and partnerships bring community into student work 

  • 4th graders collaborated with Zoo Atlanta officials and used the math, science, and language arts skills they learned to research and redesign zoo exhibit space for endangered animals

  • 3rd grade students supported the local charity Hosea Feed the Hungry by donating $300 that they raised through designing and selling originial 3D-printed coasters they created using geometric principles

Partners and resources

The Georgia State University School of Music designs professional development for teachers in arts and technology integration, and provides a curriculum through which students can create original music through tools such as iPad2 and music notation software
Georgia Tech hosts supplemental tutoring sessions for students in math and reading after school, on Saturdays and during the summer and provides STEM professional development for teachers

Oglethorpe University's Center for Civic Engagement volunteers with Drew students at local service events and projects that stimulate social awareness and justice 

The Buck Institute provides project-based learning support and curriculum

New Tech Network enables project-based learning and promotes a school culture of trust, respect and responsibility

A Race to the Top grant awarded to Drew this year supports our efforts to effectively deliver STEAM education through Project-Based Learning 


contact us

Purpose Built Schools is a partner organization to Charles R. Drew Charter School and grew out of the work done by Purpose Built Communities to share the East Lake neighborhood revitalization model around the country. Reach out to us at