HOUTZDALE – The Clearfield County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees recently awarded Moshannon Valley Junior-Senior High School Technology Education teacher, Al Gallo a $500 grant to expand the use of drones in his classes.
The award was presented at the organization’s annual fall luncheon at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Clearfield.
“It’s a great opportunity for the students in teaching them some high-tech skills while also providing a hands-on learning experience,” said Gallo.
He noted that with the funding, he was able to purchase two additional drone kits, which include a small remote-controlled flying device and game console-type controller.
“It really gives students that video game experience and kids can relate to that,” he said.
While the drones are fun to fly, Gallo noted that these devices will be integrated into his eighth grade Technology Education II class, which is designed to expose students to computer science-related principles and electronics during their semester-length course.
“Being able to program the drones to perform certain or a series of operations not only builds students skills in the area of coding, but it [also] gets them excited about doing it,” said Gallo.
Moshannon Valley has recently revised its Technology Education curriculum to promote these type of learning opportunities.
“As a school, we want to provide students with the knowledge, skills and interest in pursuing a post-secondary degree and future career in computer science or related STEM field. These types of jobs are in high demand across many industries and it’s our goal to better prepare students for these opportunities,” said School Principal Kris Albright.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that six out of 10 occupations in the country with the most new jobs are in the field of consumer science, and recent labor statistics show that five of the top 10 fastest-growing occupations are in this field as well.
Presenting the award on behalf of the PASR organization was Marianne McCloskey and Arleen Malthauf. PASR provides an annual education grant of $500 to Clearfield County schools through the annual membership contributions and fundraisers.
If you are a retired school employee and would like information on joining the organization, please contact Membership Secretary Rose Leavy at 814-765-5703 or visit https://www.pasr.org/directory-chapter/clearfield.