Vacca provides $120K for school technology

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A significant educational funding grant is providing cutting edge educational technology solutions to a local middle school.

On Thursday, May 1, Councilman Jimmy Vacca took a trip to P.S./M.S. 194, at the corner of Zerega and Waterbury avenues, to see the computer resources in action on their first day.

Vacca set aside $120,000 in last year’s capital budget to purchase the computers, printers and display equipment for 13 classrooms, including top of the line SMART Boards.

Joining two already in use at the school, the boards are large digital screens that can be used for input as well as content display, with interactive features for both teachers and students. 

Angelica Moran Rodriguez, the middle school science instructor, and her eighth grade class showed off their $40 thousand, A+ Mobile Science Technology Lab, with a demonstration of an interactive quiz on lunar facts administered through a quiz-show-style remote controlled answering program.  The percentage of students that answered specific questions was displayed on the screen as answers were reviewed. 

“Sometimes, science is not priortized,” Vacca said, adding that he would like to change that.  “Children today are more tech-savvy than ever, and if we want to capture their imagination, we need the most up-to-date technology available.”

When speaking to the eighth graders, Vacca referenced how science literacy is critical to Bronx youth, who are affected by local environmental conditions.

“We suffer one of the highest asthma rates here in the Bronx,” Vacca said.  “Science relates to the world we live in.” 

The councilman wanted to bring extra educational contributions to the school to help enable learning excellence.

“I want to give you students one leg up, another resource,” Vacca said.

Principal Elmer Myers highlighted the benefits to the school population as he described the technology, explaining how its portability allows for extensive use among all students.

 “I think it’s absolutely marvelous,” District 11 United Federation of Teachers representative Paul Egan said.

“I think it’s awesome,” PTA president Tonya Carrion added.  “Technology really is the future.”

Updated 5:29 pm, October 21, 2011
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