New technology opportunities have opened up for Adams County District 50 middle school students. During the first school board meeting of the …
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New technology opportunities have opened up for Adams County District 50 middle school students.
During the first school board meeting of the 2012-2013 school year on Aug. 14, the board approved the purchase of computers and printers for Gateway to Technology classes to be offered at Ranum Middle School, Scott Carpenter Middle School and Shaw Heights Middle School this year.
The program is a new prerequisite for the Project Lead the Way curriculum at Westminster High School. Project Lead the Way offers rigorous and innovative science, technology, engineering, and athematic (STEM) classes and programs used in middle and high schools across the nation. Art Drotar, director of learning services, said the Gateway to Technology program is the middle school partner of the Project Lead the Way program.
“As a district we are very interested in STEM and integrating that curriculum into our education,” he said. “The Gateway classes will prepare the middle school students for high school.”
Drotar said the Gateway program curriculum has significant requirements for equipment materials and supplies.
The list includes saws, drills, sanders, hand tools, robotic kits, computers and printers.
Drotar said the computers must be powerful enough to run the required software.
“The classes are project-based in math and science, and will engage the students to have to work cooperatively together and problem solve together,” he said. “Instead of a math worksheet, the students will practice a skill and then apply it. The application piece will help the students take a lot more interest in learning that skill.”
More than 250 Westminster High School students are enrolled in the Project Lead the Way program, proving the program is successful and growing, Drotar said. The Gateway to Technology classes will be offered as an elective this year.
The majority of the program is being funded with a the Race to the Top grant the district was awarded last year. The district’s general fund will provide $80,731 to buy 63 HP Elitebook 8570w Mobile Workstations and three color printers.
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