New Steam Classroom Opens In Hopedale Middle School

Issue Date: 
October, 2018
Article Body: 

The town of Hopedale, in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, played an important role in the history of American industrial development. Today, Hopedale represents a slice of New England in transition from a self-contained company town to a largely professional suburban community. The majority of the town’s 6,000 residents work in high technology and other service industries in nearby Milford, Hopkinton, Marlborough and other communities along Interstate 495. 
Until recently, Hopedale students did not have the opportunity to experience a computer science pathway during their middle school career. In response, Superintendent Karen Crebase, Principal Derek Atherton, and staff members sought out a partner to fund the development of a computer science curriculum and the professional development to support teachers in implementing the new program. With the generous support from Boston-based nonprofit, American Student Assistance, Hopedale Junior-Senior High School, opened a brand new, state-of-the-art classroom that will be host to a computer science pathway for students.
Students, teachers, community members, business leaders and elected officials gathered together on Monday, September 10th to celebrate the opening of a new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) classroom for middle school students. This initiative, including a new computer science teacher and curriculum, is the direct result of a Middle School STEAM Career Gateway Grant from American Student Assistance (ASA). For the first time, every seventh- and eighth-grade student will engage in STEAM curriculum – such as coding, designing algorithms, coding, sensor input, and robotics – during a nine-week Explore class.
This state-of-the-art classroom is producing some very excited students and educators. During the ribbon-cutting event, attendees had the opportunity to engage in conversation with middle school students about the new STEAM courses and were able to observe components of the hands-on robotics curriculum.   In addition, the SmartBoard, laptop computers, and tablets were on display.  
Hopedale is taking a leadership role in helping its students explore careers of the future at a young age!