Expansion of the science lab, including installation of a 3D printer, and creation of an in-house, TV-type broadcast system are stirring excitement at Mansfield City Schools’ Spanish Immersion School.
The projects are made possible by a $21,433 Gorman Family Fund grant through the Richland County Foundation, school fundraisers and support from the Gimbel Foundation. “We hope to have these projects completed and ready to go when students return to school on Aug. 21,” Principal Gabe Costa said. “They will offer new and exciting opportunities for our kids. We are very grateful for the grant support.”
Spanish Immersion, 240 Euclid Avenue, opened in 2008. It had a K-6 enrollment of 181 when school ended in May. Seventh and eighth grades are being added for 2017-2018.
“The science lab update is much more than a little bit of lab equipment,” Costa said. “We will have a 3D printer which can create three-dimensional, computer-generated items. I’m looking forward to seeing what our kids can do with it. We’ve got a lot of creative kids.”
The lab also will feature plant-growing equipment that will allow students to explore hydroponics.
The in-school broadcast system will be developed by using the Internet. It will involve students writing, producing and reading daily school news and announcements.
“We had been meeting in the gym the first thing Monday through Friday,” Costa said. “Now we will have the kids go directly to their classrooms Monday through Thursday for video announcements. We wanted to be creative but also practical. We will rotate groups so different students can be involved in the production.”
Costa said he talked with Mark Morich, digital media teacher at Senior High, about the daily televised newscasts his students produce. It’s amazing what he is doing,” he said of Morich.
“I grew up watching Star Trek,” Costa said. “I love anything that’s futuristic but also practical. Our broadcast system, which also will be available to parents, will allow our students to practice their Spanish, both by speaking and listening.”
In addition to grant funding, the Spanish Immersion School will develop the science lab and broadcast system with $2,500 raised from last summer’s School Specialty/United Way fundraiser. “We also had various in-house fundraisers for general technology purchases and for the science lab in particular,” Cost said. “For example, a parent organized a ‘penny war’ between the classes and we raised $1,900 specifically for the science lab.”
Information about enrolling in the Spanish Immersion School, a tuition-free public school, is available on the district web site, tygerpride.com, by clicking on the “schools” link at the top of the home page.