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Laurene Powell Jobs donates $100M to reinvent US high schools

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of the Emerson Collective charity and widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, this week awarded ten high schools $10 million each as part of a project to foster innovative ideas in education.

The winners of Powell Jobs' XQ: The Super School Project were announced on Wednesday after the team parsed through applications from nearly 700 schools, reports USA Today.

XQ was started last year to find "audacious, unconventional, unconstrained ideas to reinvent the American high school," with an initial plan to fund five schools. Overwhelming interest in the initiative prompted a doubling of awards to ten so-called "Super Schools," which will receive funding over the next five years.

Not bound to a single theme, the program doled out awards based on a variety of factors. Powell Jobs, who chairs the XQ board, said she hopes the ten award winners will serve as models for next-generation high schools, the report said.

Recipients include New Harmony High, which will put its money toward a floating classroom where students will be able to conduct research on coastal erosion and other global scale problems alongside experts and teachers. Another winner, Grand Rapids Public Museum High School, plans to transform a museum's 250,000 artifacts into the basis of a working curriculum.

Other Super Schools intend to put XQ funding toward virtual reality learning, tailored learning for homeless and foster-care students, high-tech integration and more. A full list of XQ Super Schools can be found on the project's webpage.