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South Henry wins $75,000 tech grant

Courier-Times Staff Report

The Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE) Office of eLearning has awarded South Henry School Corporation a $75,000 grant to implement the Gateway Program for middle school students.

South Henry Superintendent Wes Hammond explained that the Gateway Program is Tri Middle School’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program which is currently offered to Tri High School students.

“By expanding the PLTW program into the middle school, students will have greater opportunities to experience STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities,” Hammond said. “Students will face real-world problems that they solve in a collaborative manner. These Gateway activities are related to computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.”

Hammond expects that the additional exposure of Tri Middle School to STEM courses will result in more high school students taking courses in computer science, coding, and computer graphics.

“Our goal is to prepare more students for STEM related majors and careers,” Hammond said.

In addition to the Gateway curriculum, South Henry will use the IDOE grant to purchase equipment and supplies for design and modeling, computer science for innovators and makers, app creators, energy and the environment, flight and space, green architecture, introduction to computer science, magic of electrons, medical detectives, and science of technology.

The also plan to build a “Mac Lab” of Apple computers for the students in the Gateway program. The Mac Lab will also be available for students in other programs, such as high school computer graphics and publications, as well as elementary school programs, Hammond said.

He explained that one of the corporation’s objectives is to expose students to multiple platforms including Mac, PC, and Google Chrome.

The Office of eLearning grant will also cover the costs of teacher training in the Gateway curriculum at Purdue University. 

South Henry School Corporation was one of 27 school districts, including Blue River Valley Schools, to receive a Digital Learning Grant.

Visit www.doe.in.gov/elearning/digital-learning-grant/ for more information on the grant program.