Gov. Wolf Visits Kindergarteners Using PAsmart-Funded Robots to Learn Coding
November 15, 2019
Prospect Park, PA – Governor Tom Wolf toured the Interboro Kindergarten Academy in Delaware County today to talk with kindergarten students using robots to learn about programming and coding. The Interboro School District purchased the robots with a grant through the governor’s PAsmart program which is expanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in classrooms across the commonwealth.
“Preparing young people for the jobs of tomorrow starts by bringing STEM learning directly to students today,” said Governor Wolf. “These students will experience tremendous technological advances in their careers in every job. Programs like this are preparing them now with the skills to thrive.”
The governor has secured $70 million for PAsmart over two years. In the inaugural year, the Wolf administration awarded nearly $10 million, of up to $35,000 each, to 765 schools, including Interboro Kindergarten Academy, to expand computer science classes and teacher training. An additional $10 million in advancing grants, up to $500,000 each, was awarded to 24 schools and community partnerships. The remaining $10 million supported apprenticeships and job training. The grant availability for this school year will be announced soon.
“PAsmart provides the funding so schools, industry and communities can build the partnerships that focus on great STEM learning. This is about investing in our future so people can compete for good-paying, in-demand jobs and emerging businesses expand here and strengthen the economy for everyone.”
During the tour, the governor visited kindergarten students using KIBO robots purchased with PAsmart funds. Teachers use the robots to engage students in small groups to learn about computer programing and coding.
The PAsmart grant also enabled teachers in the school district to attend multiple workshops on design thinking, coding and engineering as well as participate in the Pennsylvania Computer Science for All Summit, held by the Department of Education. From that experience, the district created a K-5 computer science curriculum that blends hands-on and technology-based programming.
PAsmart has made Pennsylvania a national leader in STEM and computer science education. Accomplishments under Governor Wolf include:
- Ranking second in the nation for investments in computer science education;
- Advancing Pennsylvania to third in the nation in the number of nationally-recognized STEM ecosystems and making the commonwealth the fifth largest producer of STEM graduates;
- Establishing standards for computer science education in all Pennsylvania schools;
- Joining the Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science, a bipartisan initiative organized by Code.org, to advance policy, funding, and professional learning for computer science education.
The State Board of Education recently directed the Department of Education to begin the process of updating Pennsylvania’s science standards.