Center for Creativity Awards $20,000 to Keystone Oaks’ New Elementary STEAM Program
Keystone Oaks School District’s new elementary STEAM program will be supported by a $20,000 grant from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Center for Creativity. The STEAM program will begin during the 2016-17 school year and will give the District’s youngest students the opportunity to develop the creative and critical thinking skills necessary for college and career success.
In addition to the grant, Keystone Oaks is also one of 11 local school districts selected to participate in the Carnegie Science Center’s Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway Partners program. The cohort of administrators and teachers will work to share ideas and identify resources to improve STEM education.
“We are very grateful to the Center for Creativity and the Carnegie Science Center for supporting the new STEAM program in Aiken, Dormont and Myrtle elementary schools,” said Dr. Shannon Varley, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Staff Development. “A number of teachers, principals and administrators have worked diligently to make this STEAM program a reality for our youngest students and this grant and partnership will help us get the course off to a great start.”
Grant monies will be used to purchase furniture for the STEAM rooms, building supplies, robotics and coding materials. The STEAM course is one of five “specials” classes that elementary students will have next year. Children’s literature will provide the context and motivation for various design challenges and students will likely find themselves repurposing objects and recycled materials, coding, and building with Legos and other materials.
“We are very excited about this program because it will give our students the opportunity to develop curiosity, creativity, communication and collaboration skills,” said Superintendent William Stropkaj, Ed.D. “As a District, we are always looking for ways that we can better prepare our students for success and this program is a big step in the right direction.”