The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation generously donates $600,000 over two years to continue the Salvadori Center’s STEAM-based education program for EVERY 5th and 7th grade student in Scranton and Riverside, PA, as well as 9th grade students at Scranton West High School.

Salvadori Educator Kaelin Anderson described the powerful impact the Salvadori program had on one struggling Pennsylvania student last year:

I’ll never forget the day I met “David”.  His teacher told me that he was on the autism spectrum and would not be able to participate.  We thought about giving him independent work.  I asked if he could try – I have a special education background – and knew he could participate in some way.

I don’t expect high pre-assessment scores as students haven’t learned physical science concepts yet.  “David” scored 27%.  Although he had a hard time communicating, “David” had amazing fine motor skills.  So I appointed him as our materials manager.  He measured, marked, cut, and distributed materials to each group.  “David” gained a sense of purpose and began smiling.  Groups that struggled appreciated his help to complete projects on time.

“David” gave his all in every session.  He made friends and found he was capable of learning in a general education setting.  In the post-assessment “David” scored 97%!

Salvadori reaches ALL students!  While non-traditional learners like “David” can thrive in a project-based learning environment, Salvadori reaches gifted and talented students as well.  Students in Scranton and Riverside will participate in a dynamic school program that uses a collaborative, hands-on approach to learning.  Salvadori naturally integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) into the school day.  In-school residencies highlight STEAM careers, link to grade-specific math and science goals, and reinforce state and national educational standards.

Most importantly, students learn 21st century career skills that every employer wants: thinking critically and creatively, and working together to discover solutions to tough problems – the keys to success in any career.

Featuring Salvadori’s Bridges curriculum for the 7th grade, Building Green curriculum for the 9th grade, and Landmarks, Monuments, and Memorials curriculum for the 7th grade, each class will be facilitated by Salvadori Educators and Pennsylvania natives Theresa Taylor and Kristin Walters-Seidel.

“This program aims to enrich the teaching of Scranton and Riverside core curricula with project-based explorations involving concrete, real-world challenges focused on the built and designed environment,” says Executive Director Kenneth Jones. “We want to enable the transition to small group, cooperative learning, performance-based assessment, and interdisciplinary teaching.”

Salvadori uses students’ communities – buildings, bridges, parks – to bring architecture, math, and science to life.  Students work in teams to solve problems collaboratively as they develop vital communication, creative and critical thinking skills.  Salvadori’s multi-day in-school residencies and after-school programs use local, state, and national educational standards to develop the 21st century skills students needed to succeed in college and in careers.

This year’s residencies are set to begin on September 25.