The STEAM-Powered Elementary School: Montour Opens World’s First Lego-Themed Brick Makerspace

Pennsylvania’s Montour Elementary School stands out even among schools that have embraced STEAM education, the maker movement, hands-on learning and augmented and virtual reality. So when the K–4 school opened the world’s first “Brick Makerspace” — a Lego Education-powered STEAM lab developed and implemented in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon UniversityLego Education, parents, students and a local Barnes and Noble — it wasn’t just a one-off affair; rather, it was yet another advance in the school’s efforts to integrate principles of STEAM education throughout the curriculum.

“I believe makerspaces and STEAM education get students interested in learning at a very young age,” Jason Burik, co-principal at Montour Elementary, told THE Journal. “STEAM education challenges students to learn and apply content and skills with fun, real-life projects. Skills learned can later then be applied to almost any job. We wanted to create a unique learning space that kids would love coming to, something that no one else had, a room that would inspire students to become architects, engineers, designers, makers, and use problem-solving and critical thinking skills. We wanted a room that made students curious to learn and discover amazing things along the way.”

Click here to read Dave Nagel’s complete article The Journal website. 

About Timmothy Boettcher

Business Career Originally recruited in 1998 as a software engineer to design and develop cutting edge technology for new products, Mr. Boettcher assumed leadership for Research and Development and then Engineering before being named President of Realityworks in 2005. Responsible for total operations, he has driven significant understanding of market opportunities, gatekeepers, and funding in education, healthcare, and public service markets; bolstered production and supply chain efficiencies; acquired and launched new age technology; rebuilt leadership competencies; led growth into the Company’s over 65% US school system and over 90 country presence; and led the implementation of the Company’s ESOP to build on the societal mission of the Company and further the family oriented culture to reward employees for their success in achieving the mission and efforts to drive growth. Focused on high market growth, he has led the Company’s turnaround and achieved double-digit top line growth simultaneously with dramatic profit and cash flow improvement. Mr. Boettcher brings more than twenty years of engineering, product development, and global operations experience in education, advanced technology, manufacturing, and distribution industries. Prior to joining Realityworks, he held positions at Cray Research, a leading manufacturer of the world’s fastest supercomputers and Wal-Mart Distribution, the world’s leader in distribution and logistics. Professional & Community Activities Mr. Boettcher is passionate about building effective connections between our countries workforce development system, economic development programs, and education infrastructure. A solid connection between these systems is needed to ensure our youth and workforce are prepared to be global competitive and ready to take on the challenges and needs faced by industry. In delivering on this passion Mr. Boettcher: - has presented workforce development strategies on the national level for Harvard’s Pathway’s to Prosperity, U.S. Department of Labor, and at many Career and Technical Education events. - established and currently chairs the Industry Workforce Needs Council (IWNC), a national level group of industry leaders that works directly with education to increase support for Career and Technical Education in the country in alignment with industry needs. - served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Career and Technical Education. - chaired the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (Chair) to help establish and lead regional workforce development initiatives. - established and led the Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin (Chair) to help bring critical C-level talent to start-ups and small to mid-sized companies to help them grow. - served on the Board for the Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation (President). - and provides guidance to institutions like the International Business Programs Advisory Council of the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire). Mr. Boettcher also holds seven U.S. and foreign patents.

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