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Pinecrest to expand STEM programming
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Forsyth County News

SOUTH FORSYTH — Pinecrest Academy recently received a $5,000 grant from the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia to expand its science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, programming.

Officials with the private school in south Forsyth said the funding will go toward establishing two learning modules for middle school students. The modules will focus on the areas of energy in the environment and robotics.

“We are very grateful to The Catholic Foundation for their support for this important initiative that will help our students learn those skills and acquire that formation that will help them become Christian leaders equipped and eager to transform the world,” said the Rev. Robert Presutti, head of school.

An additional 135 middle school students will benefit from the technology-based programs, with funding also going toward training for two faculty members.

According to the school, sixth-graders will learn from the energy in the environment module, exploring sustainable solutions to energy needs and investigating the impact of energy on the world. They will design and model alternative energy sources and evaluate options for reducing consumption.

The robotics portion will be available to seventh-graders, allowing them to design, build and program robots. They will also get to experience real-world applications through robotics competitions through a robotics club, which will be open to all students.

While the school added new science curriculum, developed by Project Lead the Way during the 2013-14 school year, it was not available to students in kindergarten through fifth grade, but that will change this year.

Denise Cress, assistant principal at the middle school, welcomed the expansion, particularly that the school will be able to “introduce a robotics program that all of our students can participate in.”