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  • Megann Horstead

Field Middle School recognized for advancements in STEM, college readiness achievements



At the regular meeting of the West Northfield District 108 Board of Education on Thursday, Jan. 21, the principal for Field Middle School shared some new developments regarding their STEM program and the continued support of the Education Foundation.

School district officials were recognized by PITSCO Education as being leaders in terms of providing kids with access to programming geared toward college and career readiness in a series of articles over winter break.

Field Principal Dr. Erin Murphy said the school’s STEM lab and program have been recently upgraded thanks to the Education Foundation.

“So, they’re writing about the trend of schools saying, ‘you know what, kids? It’s about college,” Murphy said. “It’s about a career. We need to provide programs that offer opportunities for kids to look at a variety of different options.’ Field is featured in this as our STEM lab is all about teaching kids about college and career readiness. So, this is kind of an exciting article to see best practices and where Field fits in.”

Among those recognized in the article was not only Murphy but also Dave Kondella, a teacher at the middle school.

Murphy said the article focused on Kondella identifying problems in his classroom and programming, implementing and taking advantage of 3-D printer technology.

As an example of a teacher, he was as learning really taking advantage of the technology in his room. And he’s really becoming an expert for our students, but he had to do some learning first. He’s the first one to say he’s always learning, it’s been quite a year for him.”

Upgrades made to the lab shows accountability and this is one detail the school district strived to make known and it shows, according to Murphy.

“It really talks about what Dave (Kondella) has been doing with the investment from the Education Foundation, in terms of providing whole-class experiences in certain areas, like 3-D printing, and drafting, as well opportunities for the individual modules that we’ve been using and we updated as well,” Murphy said.

She said it is wonderful to see the school recognized for their work, especially considering the recent updates made on campus.

Additional 3-D printers, manual drafting, and classroom modules were among some of the upgrades made to classroom funded through the Education Foundation at the start of the school year in August 2015.

“They were impressed by the commitment of our parents in fundraising and making something a reality and really saying, ‘we’re going to move forward, we’re going to do this,’” she said. “And so they wrote an article really highlighting our education foundation. So, I was really excited to see that. I think it’s really appropriate timing as we move into our benefit.”

The Education Foundation is hosting its annual Winter Benefit 7:30-11:30 p.m. at Fields Vovo, 770 Frontage Road in Northfield. All proceeds will support increasing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) at Field and Winkleman Schools.

If interested in making a donation, email the Education Foundation at edfoundation@district31.net.

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