Jan 28, 2020 - Partners

This Charlotte-based company is bringing K-12 education into the digital age and they’re growing like crazy

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This content was created in partnership with Discovery Education.

Right now, Discovery Education is serving more than 5 million educators and 51 million students in more than 90 countries — and they are headquartered right in our own backyard.

If you haven’t already heard of Discovery Education, allow me to introduce you to one of the coolest places to work in Charlotte. They build the digital educational resources and curriculum that support teaching and learning in K-12 classrooms around the world.

In the U.S. alone, their products are in approximately half of all classrooms. The stuff they are building is changing the way kids learn.

While most textbook publishing companies are still doing heavy print books, Discovery Education is designing completely digital “Techbooks.”

With Discovery Education’s resources, students are able to access their books and assignments through a digital portal. Teachers are able to easily track students’ progress and pinpoint focus areas.

Here’s one of Discovery Education’s science Techbooks.

Along with Techbooks, Discovery Education also creates other cool educational tools, like STEM Connect. STEM Connect is a web-based K-8 resource that helps students develop the creative, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills they need for success beyond graduation.

Their HQ is located in SouthPark and it’s super cool and startup-y.

Their office is ultra modern, with an open floor plan. And all of their desks can transform into standing desks, which is a cool perk.

Discovery Education is big on collaboration, so they have a lot of collab spaces sprinkled throughout the office with white boards.

Here’s a look inside their office:

To top it off, they have an insanely smart team, and they’re growing like crazy.

If you want to meet the people who are responsible for bringing the future of education to K-12 classrooms around the world, they work at Discovery Education. I sat down and spoke with a handful of them to see what working there is really like.

Meet some of the Discovery Ed team:

(1) Pete Weir, Chief Product Officer

Describe what you do on a daily basis: “I work with our designers, curriculum developers, product managers, engineers, and analysts. My days are never the same. One minute I could be meeting with our head of engineering and the next be on a call with educators.”

What do you enjoy most about working there? “The mission of our company. It’s the reason I came to Discovery Education. Our goal is to provide educators with the tools that they need to help every student reach their full potential. My favorite thing is going into a classroom and seeing a bunch of students engaged with what we’re building.”

What’s your favorite thing that you keep on your desk? “This is a toss up. I have a giant 7-foot cut-out Mythbusters poster and a robotic R2-D2 that my son and I built.”

Interested in working with Pete? Here are a few open roles on his team: 

(2) Stephen Sylvester, Lead Software Engineer

Describe what you do on a daily basis: “I function as an architect. I design systems. I’m also a full stack engineer and design APIs and front-end applications and infrastructure. I lead a team but I do get to code as well.”

What do you enjoy most about working there? “At Discovery Education, we’re rebuilding a lot of applications and designing new things and using new technology. Building things from scratch, which is what we’re doing right now, is pretty exciting.”

What’s your favorite thing that you keep on your desk? “I have a Cinco De Mayo skull. A much more useful thing is I have a white board at my desk. I have to make sense of my ideas visually, so I make daily use of that.”

Interested in working with Stephen? Here are some open roles on his team:

(3) Marla Wilson, Senior Director, Coalition Design and Partner Success

Describe what you do on a daily basis: “I work in the Corporate Education Partnerships (CEP) division of Discovery Education. The CEP side is focused on establishing relationships with non-profits, corporations, and other organizations that support education. We support multiple education-focused coalitions and mine is all about STEM. The STEM Careers Coalition is specifically focused on giving students exposure to STEM-centric careers they might not be aware of, and my job is to work with our coalition members to support our mission and programs.”

“A big focus of our work is improving equity and access. There are a disproportionate number of African Americans, Latinos, and female students in the STEM fields. We’re working to make sure all students have access to the resources they need to prepare for college, careers, or whatever they choose.”

What do you enjoy most about working there? “You’re always learning. It’s almost like you get to be a big kid. Plus, the company culture is amazing. Everyone here is super smart. It’s very high energy and everyone is super collaborative. I can tell you, in the time that I’ve been here, I’ve literally loved every day that I come to work.”

What keeps you productive and motivated? “I think about if I were a kid right now having the same exposure to these resources. That’s motivating. I think about how much more advanced our children are going to be. Instead of having 10 career choices, they are going to have like 40. I’m doing my best to provide all students access to those types of experiences through the work I do.”

Interested in working with Marla? Here’s a open role on her team:

(4) Marisa Flores, Manager of Sales Enablement – Inside Sales

Describe what you do on a daily basis: “I have 2 counterparts so my day-to-day looks like a lot of collaboration with them and putting processes and best practices in place. It’s also a lot of one-on-one coaching and professional development. Our inside sales team is a mixture of people with diverse backgrounds, including teaching/education background as well as sales backgrounds. One thing everyone has in common is a passion for education and making a difference. They’re on calls with superintendents and curriculum coordinators, so they need a lot of support.”

What do you enjoy most about working there? “I really like coaching. I come from a teaching background so I feel like I got to keep a little teacher in me. I still feel very connected to the education world as a whole.”

What’s your favorite thing you have on your desk? “My desk is very seasonal. I always have different decorations. I think my favorite thing is my giant prize wheel. It’s a fun incentive and makes people smile. It also has an emoji with a cowboy hat on it.”

If you’re interested in working at Discovery Education, they’re hiring big time right now.

They have a variety of open roles and they are looking for super talented people who will, not only be innovative, but also care deeply about their mission.

You can check out their full list of open positions here.

(This content was created in partnership with Discovery Education.)

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