A $328,000 State Grant to a Penn State New Kensington Collaborative with 14 Alle-Kiski Valley School Districts Will Pay for Teacher Education and Learning Modules for Students to Take on Computer Coding and Other Technologies [Derived Headline]

By Thomas, Mary Ann | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 7, 2019 | Go to article overview

A $328,000 State Grant to a Penn State New Kensington Collaborative with 14 Alle-Kiski Valley School Districts Will Pay for Teacher Education and Learning Modules for Students to Take on Computer Coding and Other Technologies [Derived Headline]


Thomas, Mary Ann, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


A $328,000 state grant to a Penn State New Kensington collaborative with 14 Alle-Kiski Valley school districts will pay for teacher education and learning modules for students to take on computer coding and other technologies.

The grant is part of $30 million awarded by Gov. Tom Wolf's PAsmart, which is an initiative to expand science and technology education.

Since its inception in 2014, the Penn State New Kensington-led ABC CREATE collaborative has engaged hundreds of teachers in the A-K Valley's school districts with training opportunities and tools so that districts can strengthen STEM education and students can become more technologically fluent.

STEM is a grouping of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

The money will pay for much needed teacher training, educational modules and more, according to Colleen Smith, STEM outreach coordinator for Penn State New Kensington

Starting this summer, teachers in all 14 Alle-Kiski Valley public school districts will be able to enroll in professional development courses to learn computer coding, according to Smith.

"They need to develop an understanding of how coding works and the underlying technology," she said.

The grant money will pay for teachers to take the courses during the summer.

Dave Keibler, elementary principal of Leechburg Area School District, said the grant money for teacher education will be invaluable.

"We only have so many teachers with certifications or the knowledge base to teach coding and computer science," he said. "This grant will provide the opportunities. …

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