Club awards scholarships, inducts members
STEUBENVILLE — New members, scholarship awards and a glimpse of the McKinley S.T.E.M. Academy making its debut in the Steubenville school system come the 2019-20 school year were highlights of the May 6 meeting of the OFWC/GFWC Woman’s Club of Steubenville, held at the YWCA of Steubenville.
President Carlotta Jordan presided at the meeting and welcomed four new members into the organization, inducting Nicole Adamski, Tina Thompson, Cookie West and Melinda Young.
Margaret Brown, education chairman, presented two $1,000 scholarships on the club’s behalf — one to Colin Brown, a Steubenville High School senior, and the other to Rebecca Bodo, a senior at Catholic Central High School.
Brown, whose mother, Melissa Brown, was a guest at the meeting, will pursue political science studies at Ohio University. Bodo, who plans to pursue a nursing degree at Walsh University, attended the meeting with her mother, Suzanne Bodo.
Kate Sedgmer, the club’s vice president and program chairman, introduced the program presenters, both employees of Steubenville City Schools.
Deanna Beall is the principal of the new McKinley S.T.E.M. Academy, and Shana Wydra is the director of S.T.E.M. education at Steubenville City Schools.
A S.T.E.M. academy is a nontraditional learning experience where students and teachers collaborate to implement project-based learning opportunity in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, from which the acronym S.T.E.M. originates
The two said the McKinley S.T.E.M. Academy, located in the former McKinley School building at 1400 West Adams St., Steubenville, will open in the 2019-20 school year as a parental school of choice for students in grades preschool through fourth. It will have one section of each grade level with an ultimate goal class size of 20 per classroom.
The academy will offer students a hands-on experience to learning where there they will work collaboratively with peers in an inquiry-based environment designing projects while gaining knowledge through rigorous tasks, an informational brochure notes. Instruction will differ by offering a more futuristic experience to aid in guiding students toward 21st century opportunities.
“With the direction of Melinda Young, superintendent, we are opening up a S.T.E.M.-infused elementary school for preschool through four and have about 120 students, and everything they will do at that school will have some sort of S.T.E.M. curriculum infused in it,” Wydra said. “So we have robotics, drones, gardening, and it will take place in every curricular subject that the students have,” she added. “We do a really great job of S.T.E.M. in grades nine through 12 and in our middle school, and then we really wanted to focus on the lower grades, so that was one of the initiatives to opening the building,” Wydra said.
“We are currently in a construction stage,” Beall noted. “We are getting new floors, windows, a new playground, new lighting throughout the building, a new kitchen, and we have renovated our gymnasium. It’s beautiful,” she told the group.
“This is a great opportunity for our elementary students in Steubenville City Schools. The children will be provided with a more nontraditional form of learning where they will be able to implement project-based learning within their daily curriculum. We also will collaborate with our reading and math programs that we use in our elementary schools — it’s called Success for All — so our students will still have the basic core subjects and then we will build upon them with a project-based learning atmosphere,” Beall continued.
An April open house was “amazing,” according to Beall. “We were very overwhelmed with the amount of people who were there and who have enrolled their children to come to school,” she said. “We are very excited for this forward motion for our school system.”
Enrollment is under way through June 1. The lottery system would come into play for any classes with more than 20 applicants.
“When we decided to open up the elementary school, we really wanted to focus on the needs of a 21st century learner,” Wydra said. Tables and seating will allow for collaboration, she said, and healthy movement rocker chairs, chairs with a slight rock to them, will be used.
Research has shown that gentle movement in the classroom setting is good for the body and stimulates the mind, according to the brochure, which adds that “dynamic movement in a rocker can reduce fidgeting and encourage child engagement.”
The academy will house state-of-the-art equipment in the maker space, idea lab and classrooms.
There is no tuition for Ohio students but is for those out of state.
The club’s final meeting of the 2018-19 club year will be held June 3 at the YWCA of Steubenville. Soundra Palmer will give the invocation at the noon luncheon and business meeting. Marjorie Bedortha and Eleanor Weiss will be greeters.