A trio of Ohio County elementary schools have received scholarships to improve their students’ computer skills.
Elementary schools in Bethlehem, West Liberty and Woodsdale have received the West Virginia Department of Education’s Country Roads Codes grant, which was created to provide students in grades K-12 with an opportunity to develop age-appropriate computer science skills. The grant provides $2,000 to the winning schools, and the goal is to bring computer science to families and communities in West Virginia.
Bethlehem teacher Genevieve Fields, West Liberty teacher Brandy Lackie and Woodsdale teacher Sandy Wiseman have all successfully secured funding for their schools. Woodsdale Director Ashlea Minch said her grant funds will be used to provide coding activities during Computers in Education Week, which will take place December 5-9.
Minch said Woodsdale will also host a Beyond the Hour of Code evening event for students and their families, and they will purchase seven Lego Essential Robotics kits for use during the evening event, which will then be available to students at the school’s maker become space.
Minch commended Wiseman for her efforts in winning the scholarship for her school and her students.
“We are so fortunate to have Ms. Wiseman’s coding and computer science knowledge and experience,” said Minch. “She has led the way for Woodsdale and Ohio County schools for many years, and now we will have even more robotics kits for our students. We cannot thank her enough for what she does for our school.”
Drew Villani, principal of Bethlehem and West Liberty Elementary Schools, said schools will also participate in the Hour of Code event, and schools will host community nights to demonstrate student skills and allow families to participate in the tools .
He said a goal of the Local School Improvement Councils in Bethlehem and West Liberty this year is to offer additional opportunities for enrichment in STEM and robotics. He thanked Fields and Lackie for making those goals a reality.
“They provide an amazing coding experience for our students,” said Villani. “MS. Fields’ experience in On-Ramp to Robotics allows learners to create color and sound on a microcontroller, learn how to program a robotic vehicle, and see how these concepts can be applied to a broader range of STEM activities can be transferred, which will help our students see the connection between what they are learning and its intersection with STEM careers.
“Ms. Lackie’s STEM Behind Sports experience puts students in the middle of the competition and challenges them to make meaningful connections between math and science concepts. I’m honored to work with dedicated educators like Mrs. Lackie and Ms. Fields They are constantly looking for innovative ways to support and educate our students.”