The Mon Valley School STEAM program’s effort to bring computer science to all students received a big boost on January 17 when it was awarded a $35,000 PAsmart Targeted K12 Computer Science and STEM Education grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. With the new funding, Mon Valley educators will develop a new computer science vocational program for both full- and part-time district students in grades 9-12, as well as computer science/STEAM classes for K-12. During the first part of a multi-phase plan, teachers will complete an intense professional development program for computer science. During the second phase, computer science instruction will be integrated throughout the K-12 curriculum.
“We are excited to bring equity and access in computer science education to our students with severe disabilities,” said Mon Valley School assistant principal Stephanie Paolucci, who applied for the grant.
It is estimated that within the next decade, seven of 10 new jobs in the state will require computer science skills. Mon Valley's mission is to provide special education students the same educational opportunities as they would find in other classrooms so that they can be prepared for life after school.
Consider it a growth spurt for the young STEAM program as it continues to make an impact and garner nationwide recognition. In the fall, teacher Rob DeFillippo was honored as one of the 2018 Champions of Computer Science Award winners by Code.org and the Computer Science teachers Association. Great job!