Seneca Valley wins bronze
Edison Awards Steering Committee announces Seneca Valley CIRC as a winner in 2018 Annual Innovation Awards
The Edison Awards black-tie Gala in February 2018 featured some of the most tech savvy and cutting-edge businesses and organizations from across the country. We’re proud to announce that the Seneca Valley School District stood shoulder-to-shoulder with all of them when they were announced as a bronze medal winner in the 2018 competition.
Also impressive is that SV was also the only featured K-12 public school in the nation to be included on the list as a finalist. The medal announcement took place during the event held at the historic Capitale in New York, NY, in honor of Thomas Edison’s 171st birthday. Specifically, the medal goes to the Haine Elementary/Middle School Creativity, Innovation and Research Center (CIRC). This creative space was chosen from over 3,000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science, marketing and education, including professional organizations representing a wide variety of industries and disciplines.
“It is an incredible honor to be considered for this prestigious award,” said Dr. Sean McCarty, assistant superintendent for K-6 instruction. “Recognition such as this demonstrates an investment in children and acknowledges the importance of encouraging creativity and innovation from a young age. The fact that this is coming from another industry, one in which understands and values the efforts of public education, is very gratifying.”
Just over a year ago, Seneca Valley collaborated with Pittsburgh-based Inventionland Institute to design an innovative space and introduce creative resources at all Seneca Valley K-6 elementary schools as a way to help students find inspiration in their academics. The first of four spaces was installed during summer 2017 at Haine Schools with plans in the works to create similar spaces at Connoquenessing Valley, Rowan and Evans City Schools in the coming year. Known as the Creativity, Innovation & Research Center (CIRC), CIRC offers students an opportunity for students to use a “constructivist approach to all sorts of project-based activities,” said Dr. McCarty.
In one area, a visitor may find students taking part in a demo on the many applications of a laser printer, from cutting fabric to creating food art to designing plastic. Just across the room, first graders may be working diligently on puzzles while sixth graders are seen trying out the green screen technology and fourth graders are brainstorming story topics. Now and in the future, students will be collaborating with their peers on such subjects as coding, robotics, engineering, communications, and graphics design. They are also experiencing self-discovery, learning problem-solving skills and taking home real world knowledge. Seneca Valley is one of the first school districts to work with and offer Inventionland’s K-4 curriculum, and one of just a few in the region to offer such a space. For certain, SV is currently the only District that features a tree house, complete with a bright yellow slide!
The Edison Awards celebrates its 31st year of recognizing and honoring the best in innovations and innovators. “Each year the Edison Awards honors the best new innovations and their teams who are visibly changing the world and honoring Thomas Edison’s legacy,” said Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director of the Edison Awards. “We find it inspiring to celebrate these innovators as they develop solutions that will stand out and make a lasting impact for years to come.”
The awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) who pioneered new product development methods and a systematic process of innovation. His 1,093 patents made him one of the most influential inventors of all time. The Edison Awards is a program conducted by Edison Universe, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering future innovators. For more information about the Edison Awards, please visit http://www.edisonawards.com.