It's not often that Bee-Bot gets to hang out with top level NFL players, even when they're sporting the same colors. But that's precisely what happened in February when both Bee-Bot and the likes of Kris Letang were on hand to celebrate the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation becoming the first recipient of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's new PAsmart Advancing Grant.
PAsmart, a statewide movement for accountability, readiness, and training, was formed with the goal of ensuring Pennsylvania students and workers have the skills and abilities to meet the economic needs of the 21st century. A significant part of the initiative are the PAsmart Advancing Grants which are designed to help support quality educational opportunities and experiences to K-12 students in computer science and STEM.
The Penguins Foundation works with the The Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units, a non-profit organization comprised of the executive directors of Pennsylvania’s 29 IUs. It promotes educational and operational collaboration across IU boundaries, working collaboratively to meet the needs of the state and it's schools.
At the announcement of the grant, Penguins Foundation President Dave Soltesz stressed how important it is to have the right partners, such as the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. “This was a program that was bottom up. It was percolated from teachers, curriculum directors, and then at the top we put it together. The best part is the program dealing with 10 intermediate units and allowing these intermediate units to provide professional development for the school district.”
The more than $400,000 grant is for the expansion of STEAM Learning Libraries to schools across western Pennsylvania. It will benefit 22 counties, 206 school districts, and over 400,000 students. And we are at Terrapin are proud to note that Bee-Bots, as well as some of our accessories such as learning mats, are among the computer science items that will be part of the STEAM Lending Libraries.
You can view the press conference on Pens TV (and look out for Bee-Bot at the one minute mark, and Kris Letang about 30 seconds later).