It’s Full STEAM Ahead for Innovation Lab
We are beyond thrilled at University Park Elementary to receive funding for our Full STEAM Ahead grant proposal for additional robotics supplies to supplement our coding program in the Innovation Lab. The Innovative Grants Program is awarded by the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, which was made possible through donations to the Parents Appreciating Teachers and Staff (PATS) program in addition to corporate partners.
Our Innovation Lab Manager, Carrie Finley-Bajak has been an enthusiastic champion for our students and has been highly motivated to continuously improve student learning and outcomes via technology, programming, and graphic arts. She feels very strongly that our students are ready to take their STEAM skills to the next level.
“Our students need access to robots so they can apply their coding skills to tangible devices. Currently, we do not have enough devices to offer differentiated lessons for an entire class. We would have better progress if smaller groups could access devices to accelerate their learning,” wrote Carrie in her grant application.
Carrie gave a big picture view of the space and noted that “in 2017, we invested in designing a state-of-the-art Innovation Lab that serves grades TK-6. As a whole, our school community has been working on developing technology and digital arts skills that support classroom learning during lab time. Our focus is on teaching coding skills and graphic arts via video production and a variety of computer applications. We have been operating with limited resources leveraging software and apps available for Chromebooks and iPads”