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Posts Tagged "TOEFL"

Full STEAM Ahead at WSA Technology Access Center Grand Opening

October 07, 2015
By Susan Trower

West Sound Academy's Technology Access Center (TAC) received a proper grand opening on October 6, 2015, complete with ribbon-cutting and tours.

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, with help from some WSA students, cut a ribbon with a pair of sharp giant scissors, allowing the assembled group of students, parents, and community members to come take a look at the "TAC Room" inside of Ryan Hall.

Mayor Becky Erickson gets some help from 6th grader Matt Thornell
Espen Swanson photo

The new facility has WSA's students and teachers eager to proceed "full STEAM ahead" with the school's STEAM curriculum initiative, combining the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) with Art and Design.  

7th Grader Chase Van Derrick demonstrating his skills in the Alice programming language
Espen Swanson photo

Students enrolled in 6th Grade Introduction to Technology, 7th Grade Computer Language and Logic, and 8th-12th Grade Robotics elective classes were on hand to show off all of the new gear.  

The TAC has 16 PC work stations (plus a teacher work station) equipped with 3D design software that allows students to work with the Cubify 3D printer and scanner.

WSA Science and Technology teacher David Miller had his Robotics and Introduction to Technology students show visitors what they've been working on during the first month of school.  Teams from the Robotics class demonstrated the capabilities of the LEGO EV3 robots to navigate obstacle courses, follow along walls, and use the gyro-sensor to be self-balancing.  The 3D printer was running, printing out a design created using Blender, the 3D program used by the 6th graders. 

Seventh graders were stationed at the PCs, showing off their coding skill.  The Computer Language and Logic class taught by WSA Director of Technology Lionel Pummell focuses on Alice, but some in the class have jumped ahead to learning Java.

8th Grade Robotics student Sam Abraham with his robot going around a wall of math books
Espen Swanson photo

James Kolb, West Sound Academy's Director of Finance and Operations, was part of the team of school administrators and community members that helped make the 'TAC Room' a reality.  Kolb is happy to see students benefiting from the TAC, and he's looking forward to the future potential for the school's new resource, and not just for WSA students.

8th Grade robotics student Elliott Drewry
Espen Swanson photo

The school is in the application process to be a testing center for the Educational Testing Service's TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).  A TOEFL center in Poulsbo would be a tremendous service to any international students on the Kitsap or Olympic Peninsulas seeking admission to American colleges, since the test is required for all non-English speakers. 

West Sound Academy is also hoping to partner with Kitsap Regional Library and Poulsbo Parks and Recreation to make the TAC available after school for use for classes offered by those organizations.  "This has long been a dream at WSA, so we’re very excited about the Technology Access Center," says Kolb.  "It’s an important step in our STEAM Initiative and gives us another way to welcome the wider community to our campus. "

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