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DPI announces expanded partnership for tech education in state's schools

An expanded partnership with Microsoft Corporation to bring a technology program to the state's schools has been announced by North Dakota School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler. Baesler, the head of the Department of Public Instruction, is gaugin...

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Pam Knudson

An expanded partnership with Microsoft Corporation to bring a technology program to the state's schools has been announced by North Dakota School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler.

Baesler, the head of the Department of Public Instruction, is gauging interest from superintendents and high schools in using a unique program for computer science instruction, she said in a news release.

Microsoft will be expanding its Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program to the state by hiring a full-time, North Dakota-based coordinator, volunteering some of its employees and expert instructors as classroom teachers and exploring further investment to expand this program for high school students, Baesler said.

In the TEALS program, a volunteer computer science professional from Microsoft or another industry partner teams up with a classroom instructor to team-teach computer science courses. The classroom teacher gradually takes over instruction as she or he gains knowledge of the subject.

Hillsboro High School is the only North Dakota high school with a Microsoft TEALS program, but Baesler said she hopes the program will catch with many other schools.

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Forty teams of 9- to 14-year-olds from around the area are expected to participate in the North Dakota FIRST LEGO League Robotics State Championship tournament Saturday at the UND Memorial Union. "FIRST" stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

At the event, students compete using science, engineering and technology skills to solve real-world problems. This year's focus is hydro-dynamics-how to find, transport, use or dispose of water.

The competition, held annually at UND, is open to the public.

For more information, go to: www.usfirst.org .

Grand Forks Public Schools has received $5,000 from the Russell and Helen Sand Public High School Education Fund, the school district announced.

A competitive grant for $2,500 has been awarded for the purchase of a digital monitor and software to help students design and create digital signage in graphic arts classes at Central High School.

Students will use the equipment to design and create posters promoting events, classes and school information for display on the monitors.

With the second $2,500 grant, the school district has purchased a geriatric simulator that allows students to experience some of the physical changes that can occur with aging and the challenges the elderly face in confronting those changes.

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The simulator mimics vision impairment, restricted range of motion and decreased mobility and strength, loss of sensation and changes in balance.

"I tell my students that anytime we can step into our patients' shoes and get a sense of the challenges they face, it allows us to be more empathetic in the care we give," Kim Adams, medical careers instructor at Central High School, said in a news release.

Holy Family-St. Mary's Catholic School hosts its 13th Annual Dinner, Dance and Auction on Friday at the Ramada Inn in Grand Forks.

Dubbed the "Written in the Stars Prom 2018," the event begins at 5:45 p.m. The buffet is served at 6:30 p.m., and the dance is at 8:30 p.m.

For tickets, call (701) 746-1454.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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