Middle school gets 50 computers, thanks to WVW Education Foundation

posted in: News | 0
web1_TTL110415wvwcomputers
Kayleigh Gavlick, an eighth-grade student at Wyoming Valley West Middle School, shows her work to David Tarantini and Randy Stark of the district’s education foundation, and Instruction Technologist Dana Mascioli. The foundation provided the computers, which Mascioli said will help boost STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lessons. At right, Michala Dennis works on one of the machines. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Middle school gets 50 computers, thanks to WVW Education Foundation
First Posted: 6:45 pm – November 3rd, 2015

By Mark Guydish – mguydish@timesleader.com

KINGSTON — It was a bit hard to tell who got the most excited. On one hand, Wyoming Valley West eighth-grader Chase Santayana spun briefly from the computer screen to gush, “This is awesome! I’m excited to see what labs we’re going to do with this!”

On the other hand, Superintendent Chuck Suppon beamed like a kid at Christmas. “I never expected 50 computers so soon, and this is just the beginning!”

The district showed off 18 of the donated computers in the Middle School Library Tuesday, gifts from an anonymous donor made through the recently-formed Wyoming Valley West Education Foundation, a non-profit designed specifically so donors can contribute to the district.

More computers are coming, Suppon said, plus upgrades to the school’s network to make everything run faster, all thanks to the foundation. The big picture: Using the machines to incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) “into the entire curriculum.”

Dana Mascioli, the district’s technology coach, said the computers can help teach middle school students “problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and can be entertaining.”

Santayana proved that, as he used the program “scratch” — students learn the basics of writing computer code and debugging it to make an animation do things — to make a shark eat a starfish on the screen, then swim away.

Tyler Gillespie and Brandon Richie work on computers as Isabella Mehm helps Grace Bakewell with a new program that teaches the basics of computer coding at Wyoming Valley West Middle School Tuesday.  Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Tyler Gillespie and Brandon Richie work on computers as Isabella Mehm helps Grace Bakewell with a new program that teaches the basics of computer coding at Wyoming Valley West Middle School Tuesday.
Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

“Science is my best thing,” Santayana said with another smile. And no, he isn’t particularly interested in sharks or marine life.

“I want to be a chemist. Or an astronaut.”

For Kayleigh Gavlick, also in eighth grade, making a cartoon shark move to her will was right up her preferred alley.

“I think this is really cool,” she said, adding she wants to be an animator. “So this is perfect for me.”

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish

Leave a Reply