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From MECC’s Oregon Trail® of Yesteryear to RE@L’s STEM Explorations® of Today: “A Love for Learning” for All Learners!

by | Mar 24, 2018 | RE@L StudentCorner

horace-mann-9397522-1-402RE@L logo_Corp_TM_New Tag_8-15-17_CMYK     Almost 200 years ago, Horace Mann introduced schooling as we know it today. Students were grouped largely by age, as they are now. While that method works for many learners, it clearly does not work for all.

We are all grateful for Mann’s introduction of universal education in America. We remain concerned, however, education today still does not address the needs of each learner.

During that same epochal period for education for all in the mid-1800’s, then-famed poet and essayist, Ralph Waldo UnknownEmerson wrote this well-known quote:

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” 


For too many students today, the well-worn path simply doesn’t work. That number is growing, as more students come to our schools ill-prepared to learn. A student may be ten years old and currently in 5th grade, but that student may still be unable to read. Since learning in K12 schools is largely driven by textbooks, if students can’t read, their learning needs cannot be met.


Many students today need another path to an education that works for them. They need a path that meets their needs. When it comes to effective K12 STEM software today, Emerson’s advice will lead you straight to Real Experiences at Life (RE@L) software. It’s designed to be used by a team of students, each bringing their own interests, talents and needs. RE@L addresses those issues and provides resources to help each and every member of the learning team.


MECCRE@L STEM Explorations software rose out of MECC’s widely successful software from over 40 years ago. MECC was arguably the primary software provider to K12 schools everywhere. MECC also was committed to “For the Love of Learning.” That motto was the capstone to their product philosophy, “For the Love of Learning.”

mecc-1Their beliefs led to the most successful and effective K12 simulation learning software of all time, namely, “Oregon Trail!” Teams of students learned from their simulated Oregon trek, success or failure, and enjoyed doing it too. If you don’t believe that, ask someone who played it!

Why was MECC so successful, and why will RE@L become even more successful? What made MECC so popular and effective and more will make RE@L software the heir-apparent to what works best for all students and teachers. Here’s MECC’s success story:

  • MECC worked with teachers and educators to find out what products were needed to facilitate K12 curriculum….from basic skills to Vector Geometry.
  • MECC.15-300x199MECC talked with students, and sought input to improve their products. When MECC software was released to schools, MECC sought feedback on how to improve it.
  • MECC software included additional resources and supplementary materials for teachers, from ideas on lesson planning to quizzes and related project ideas.
  • MECC worked closely with helper organizations, known as Educational Service Agencies, that worked in the field with teachers, answering their questions. and keeping them current with new curriculum ideas.
  • MECC listened to all users and incorporated new ideas into their hundreds of software products.


Dale Paul Photo 2017REV2NAMESDon-R2Now, two generations later, several of the key founders of MECC are again bringing an exciting, new suite of STEM-based software to the K12 EdTech school market. Soon to be released is RE@L’s Water Quality Investigations™. This new product will feature significant changes: Project-Based Learning, Collaborative Assignments, Team-based projects that draw on the skills and talents of each student.

RE@L STEM software consists of real world experiences, and focuses on what many educators call “hands-on and heads-on” learning. This learning can lead not only to student success in the classroom today, but opportunities for the many STEM career options in the future.

Since MECC’s key leaders were once teachers and educators, they adopted “For the Love of Learning” and embedded it in all that RE@L does in creating their K12 software products. RE@L, too, is committed to that same motto: “For the Love of Learning!” Look again at our logo above.

That love of learning motivates us constantly to find more ways for more students to learn more. All students! We want each and every learner to be all that they can be…no matter their gender, no matter their ethnic background, no matter their age.

We all need to find our own way in learning and life. Our choices do not apply to all the paths before us, just ones that would take us where we would not go. We need to find the ones that lead us to the greater good for each of us and all of us. That’s where our, “For the Love of Learning” must take us.

RE@L also pledges to address Social Conscience issues, including “CyberTeaming” over “CyberBullying”; peaceful resolution of issues over violence; and positive health choices over addictions such as tobacco and other addictive drugs.

UnknownThe-Road-Not-Taken-Poem-by-Robert-FrostWe close this RE@LBlog with an excerpt from another poem by former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Frost:

“The Road Not Taken.”

“…I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

We each need to be aware of our wiser choice and make it.