Photo by Trisha Walker
Enaro Martinez, Wy’east eighth grader, explains the steps he used to create his model castle — the wiring and computer programs needed — during a tour of the new STEAM center Wednesday.
As of Friday, June 8, 2018
Wy’east administration, staff and students, joined by Hood River County School District board and community members, held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open up the school’s new STEAM center at noon on Wednesday.
The STEAM center — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math — houses a common space that doubles as a flexible learning area, maker space, dustless prototype lab, flex and science labs, and an outdoor learning space that is still under construction.
“It was incredible seeing the kids’ faces when they walked in (for the first time),” said seventh grade science teacher Susan Arechaga. “‘Is this really Wy’east? Is this really going to be our space?’”
Sixth graders Marina Castaneda and Sydney Krentz cut the ribbon — the scissors gave them each just a bit of trouble — before those gathered were invited to tour the new space.
Students described projects they have been working on this year and the various pieces of equipment they have access to, including CAD software and 3D printers. Among the presenters was eighth grader Tristan Maddox, who talked about the tool wall he’d built in the maker space as “something that can do good for the school here for a long time.”
“I love how everyone has come together to make this happen,” said Wy’east Principal Sarah Braman-Smith. “It’s been quite the journey to be under construction all year. The students’ flexibility has been terrific.”
Her favorite quote from a student first seeing the new space: “This classroom looks like the future!”
“I think it’s the premiere learning space in Hood River County,” said HRCSD Superintendent Dan Goldman. He added that the wing has been designed to be integrated with outdoor learning, “a big part of life and the economy” in the upper and mid valley areas.