News Column

Quaker Valley receives grant to reimagine elementary computer labs

June 7, 2014

Beaver County Times, Pa.



June 07--SEWICKLEY -- The Quaker Valley School District has been awarded a $20,000 Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics grant from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's Center for Creativity, an initiative funded by the Benedum and Grable foundations.

The grant will be used to transform the district's elementary computer labs into I.D.E.A. (Innovation, Design, Engineering and Arts) Exchanges that incorporate science, technology, engineering, arts and math exploration and learning.

"These collaborative spaces will encourage students to create and design interdisciplinary projects, learn about and solve real world problems, write and experiment with code, and explore with the newest technologies," said Jillian Bichsel, director of academic services.

In addition, the district's elementary curriculum will expand to include an introduction to computational thinking, understanding the design process and coding in grades K-2 and then expand this focus for grades 3-5 to include more in-depth opportunities in coding, game design and robotics.

"Students will experience a shift in learning from technology skill-based instruction to more hands-on, problem-based, design-oriented learning that encourages exploration, experimentation and play," Bichsel said. "This type of learning requires students to takes risks, make mistakes, and reflect upon and learn from those mistakes."

Quaker Valley's project was one of 25 selected for funding from among 90 grant submissions.

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(c)2014 the Beaver County Times (Beaver, Pa.)

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Source: Beaver County Times (PA)


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