San Ramon Valley expands Imagineering education program

Summer classes to teach hands-on science, technology, math, engineering

The San Ramon Valley Education Foundation will be expanding its Imagineering program this summer with the intent to spark student interest in science and technology fields.

The popular program, taught by San Ramon Valley Unified School District staff, introduces students to 21st century science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines through hands-on opportunities, according to the foundation.

"San Ramon Valley Education Foundation is happy to have made such a strong connection with students who wish to further engage with STEM experiences beyond the classroom," foundation president Colin Zink said in a recent statement.

"As we continue to evolve our program we look forward to deepening its impact beyond its current scope and broadening its footprint to even more students," Zink stated.

Imagineering encourages students to choose STEM classes throughout middle and high school to help steer them toward college and careers, according to foundation representatives.

The program consists of four themes -- Net Logo Coding, Biotechnology, 3-D Printing and Robotics -- and is also piloting courses in animation, bioinformatics and chemistry. Each class is taught by a master teacher who also develops the curriculum.

Additionally, there are student mentors, middle and high school students who are knowledgeable in the content and skills involved in the program. Mentors are provided in a 3:1 ratio, with a mentor at each table group to provide individualized instruction, as explained by the foundation.

"My son has had the opportunity to attend several of the Imagineering classes through the foundation and has enjoyed each one immensely," said Imagineering parent Susan Molloy. "The classes have helped my son realize that learning can be fun, and as parents we see the classes as a hidden gem to benefit his future."

Jeannie Ornowski, also a parent of an Imagineering student, said that her son loved all three of the classes he took through the program.

"He had lots of time on the available equipment and either the instructor or student helpers were there to provide assistance as needed," said Ornowski last month. "I think they are a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about some of the different technology based professions while having a great time."

Imagineering will take place in June and July with classes ranging from four to 12 hours. It is available for students between fourth and seventh grades. Individual Imagineering programs vary in cost depending on the length of the sessions.

All proceeds from Imagineering go toward directly toward SRVUSD and its schools to support new programs for its students, foundation officials said. The foundation is the primary funding organization for SRVUSD and has invested more than $7 million in financial support for its 33 local school affiliates to foster student learning experiences.

To learn more about classes and register, visit the foundation's website.

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Like this comment
Posted by ed chiverton
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Jun 9, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Congratulations to Karen Robman and Cristene Burr for the outstanding job of growing this program so that it has reached so many students. With roughly 13,000 students in grades 4 through 8 eligible to attend these classes, it is very difficult to accommodate the demand for these classes, but Karen and Cristene have worked hard to train and grow the teacher and mentor staffs and increase the number of classes available to meet the demand. GREAT WORK!!!

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