Ron Matchock

MATCHOCK

CURWENSVILLE — Curwensville Area School District has received a grant that will help students become prepared to have success in the global economy.

At Thursday’s combined work session and monthly business meeting, Superintendent Ron Matchock announced the district was notified its application for $35,000 for the state Department of Education’s PAsmart Targeted K12 Computer Science and STEM Education grant was accepted.

Information about the grant said its goal is “to support the commonwealth’s future economic and business growth. To remain competitive, Pennsylvania must grow its supply of skilled workers. Over the next decade, most good paying jobs in Pennsylvania, and across the country, will require some form of education or training after high school, especially in fast-growing fields of computer science and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM. These career pathways look different for different people and sectors, and a one-size-fits-all approach to education and training will not work for all students, workers, and businesses,” it states.

Matchok told the board the funding would be used both to teach teams of teachers from the elementary and junior-senior high school to incorporate computer science and STEM education into the district’s curriculum.

It will also provide equipment.

“We are not completely sure of the type of equipment that will be purchased at this time. We will know more about that as the teachers receive the professional development on computer programming and STEM. At the elementary level, we anticipate things like littleBits, Ozobot and Makey Makey, (robotic and coding toys). At the high school level it would likely be centered around more computers and software based on computer programming languages.”

Matchock said the district is looking forward to incorporating both the teacher training and equipment into the curriculum and day-to-day learning.

“This will be a tremendous help to our students in introducing them to computer programming concepts and problem-solving capabilities that are so crucial in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields,” he said.