Centre Co. middle school may see innovative changes in education programs

Local News

State College, Pa- The State College Area School District (SCASD) is making plans that could see updates to middle school education.

Right now, no specific plans for change have been made. But, district officials told WTAJ some of the main points of emphasis they’re looking to include in any/all plans.

“We want students to be able to process information and think critically with it. As you know, know with the information age, we don’t need students to remember facts anymore… you and I can pull out our smart-phone and have any fact we want within 5-to-10 seconds. But, we want students to be able to interpret that information and apply it to other areas of their lives,” said Dr. Will Stout SCASD’s Assistant Superintendent for Seconday Education.

Dr. Stout said he and a group of more than 40 students, teachers, parents, and administrators want education at the district’s two middle schools (Park Forest and Mount Nittany Middle Schools) to be more innovative in the future.

“We’re trying to re-imagine what middle school could look like 5 or 10 years down the road. We’re really trying to apply a futuristic vision to it…. not just what we’re currently aware of,” Dr. Stout said

He added:
“One middle school that I visited has an artificial intelligence STEM unit that they run for their students. It’s the first that I’ve heard of.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean robots are coming to SCASD middle schools… but it’s the innovative mindset that Dr. Stout feels will help students maintain a passion for learning, his ultimate goal.

“I want them to come out of middle school excited about learning. I wan their experiences in middle school to be very interactive, very engaging, very hands-on…. so that they maintain that excitmement for learning and they can take it to the high school with them,” Dr. Stout said.

The goal is to have initial proposals for education/program changes submitted to the SCASD School Board by fall, 2019.

Dr. Stout told WTAJ many of the approved changes will be implemented gradually throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

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