Bellefonte-“IDEA Hub” plan introduced to students, teachers

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Thursday night, students, parents and teachers from three Centre County school districts got to hear about a new innovative space coming to a local school.

The Superintendent of the Bellefonte Area School District says the new idea hub won’t replace student’s classes for entrepreneurship or STEM, but expand on them.

Austin Craig takes the Engineering Design and Development class at Bellefonte Area High School.

“We spend the whole year designing a product, kind of inventing the whole thing,” Craig, said.

He says the new “Idea Hub”, coming to the Central Pennsylvania Institute in Bellefonte, gives him and his classmates a place to work on those products.

“Instead of just us kind of like brainstorming it and writing on a piece of paper, we can actually have hands on activity here,” Craig, said.

School districts in Bellefonte, Bald Eagle and Penns Valley got a $10,000 grant from the Pennsylvania After School Network.

That will go towards designing the “Idea Hub” at CPI and bringing in equipment.

High school students from the three districts will be able to come after school hours or in the Summer.

There they’ll have access to virtual reality, 3D printers and other technology.
Teachers say the Hub will benefit more than just engineering students.

“We’ve had teachers saying that they might have a student that’s interested in something with FFA, with Future Farmer’s of America, business students that might have an idea,” Vaughn Donmoyer, Technology Education Teacher for Bellefonte Area High School, said.

Thursday night, the Bellefonte Area School District presented the plans for this project to the community.

“If you’re not sure what field of engineering, or even if you enjoy engineering in the first place, this is nice to further decide that,” Craig, said.

The IDEA Hub will be open by next Spring if not by next Summer for high school students and eventually for middle school students.

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