Grant is music to ears of Shaler Area students
Shaler Area Elementary School's general music classes next school year will become more high-tech with the installation of a new multimedia room made possible through a $20,000 STEAM grant.
Shaler Area was one of 25 school districts to receive a grant through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's Center for Creativity, made possible through the Claude Worthington Benedum and Grable foundations, to engage students in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, STEAM, subjects and projects.
“I hit the refresh button, and I jumped out of my seat,” said elementary music teacher Cynthia Dougherty, who applied for the grant.
“This is my first grant ever. It's overwhelming. The idea had been there, but it was ‘what a huge idea.' Now, I get to execute this huge idea.”
Dougherty plans to use the grant money to turn the music room into an interactive learning center. The large room will be divided into four sections: a large-group instruction area, an iPad tablet center, a movement center and a visual-arts library and creative-arts center. Dougherty also is giving up her adjoining office space to transform it into a recording studio.
Dougherty said she wants to use the new multimedia room to introduce students to creating and recording their own music, discovering musical concepts through movement and dance, and applying musical ideas to other subjects, such as science.
“The climate of what we're trying to teach, there is a shift … (to) delve deeply into subject matter,” Dougherty said. “Instead of ‘let's learn a song,' it's ‘let's see how music affects our lives.'”
Dougherty's project proposal was chosen from more than 80 grant applications submitted. Each proposal was rated on its sustainability, implementation, relevance and STEAM integration.
Linda Hippert, executive director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, said the Center for Creativity grants are helping the region's schools become the models for school districts across the country.
“STEAM grants will give districts the opportunity to provide innovative programs that will engage students in activities that enhance learning and promote the 21st-century skills that employers want and need,” Hippert said.
Dougherty said the multimedia center is a new concept in teaching music, but she is excited about the opportunity to introduce students to music education in a new way.
“I think we really have a great idea,” Dougherty said. “Fifteen years of teaching, I'm throwing it out the window and starting from scratch and developing a new way of learning.”
Dougherty said she hopes to have the multimedia room complete by the start of next school year.
“I see a lot that can happen in this space,” she said.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Shaler Area students get a taste of Japanese
- Ironman triathlete to visit Hampton church, share story of overcoming adversity
- Pine-Richland students named merit semifinalists
- Depreciation Lands Museum in Hampton to offer spooky lantern-lit tours
- Former Shaler resident set to celebrate 100th birthday
- Work to improve dog shelter earns Richland teen Eagle Scout rank
- Millvale’s recent hire aims to bring sustainability to job