In a bid to improve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning opportunities for K-12 students, Alexandria City, Va., Public Schools (ACPS) and Virginia Tech have expanded their partnership to both enhance STEM opportunities for students and create potential pathways to higher education.
“This partnership increases equitable access to opportunities in the STEM field for children who may not have otherwise had those opportunities,” said ACPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. “Through it, our staff will be able to provide our students with even more engaging and creative learning experiences.”
The expanded partnership kicked off a new pilot program at James K. Polk Elementary School with ACPS and Virginia Tech leaders joining teachers in distributing micro:bit equipment to all fifth-grade students.
As part of the pilot program, students at the school will have the chance to learn about the Micro:bit, which is a pocket-sized computer that shows how software and hardware work together. ACPS noted in a press release that Micro:bit has an LED light display, buttons, sensors and input/output features that, when programmed, let it interact with the user.
ACPS said the goal of the pilot program is to “inspire young people to get excited about technology and the opportunities it presents for them by creating free, user-friendly educational resources that support teachers in delivering engaging and creative lessons.” ACPS also noted that the pilot program will be extended to additional schools in the future.