• Sat. Aug 13th, 2022



Galapagos Charter School says early access to technology can lead to interest in STEM careers

ROCKFORD (WREX) — While remote learning may be a challenge now, it will soon become second nature to students and could help them in the future when it comes to careers in technology.

Change can be scary, but this year students at Galapagos Charter School in Rockford are embracing technology as a mode of learning both remotely and in class.

“There was a steep learning curve for all of us,” said Galapagos Charter School CEO Michael Lane.

“Even though we are in the same building, all they do is they log on to this Zoom and they are able to stream in. I can hear them if they have questions,” said Galapagos seventh grade math and science Instructor Mallory Johnson.

Students are becoming proficient in technology at an early age and it could pique a child’s interest to pursuing science.

“A quick accelerant to helping to start erase that technology gap. Now they have access to technology, they have access to the programs and they’re using those programs on a daily basis,” said Lane.

“I think this is only touching the iceberg of what they are capable of. I mean they are only 12 and 13 right now and they are able to do my skill level,” said Johnson. “I am only expecting that they go further and further with this.”

Johnson says students are enjoying computers and that interest could lead to career opportunities in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) in the future.

“That background knowledge because it’s built right into our curriculum about what those jobs do and how we can use science to do that as well as technology. I can only see where they’re going to take their careers with this material,” said Johnson.

Johnson says the online programs the school is introducing now will help students navigate and excel with computers later on.

“But I can’t fix every problem right then and there so it does push them to do that critical thinking aspect on their own,” said Johnson.

“I think even after the pandemic we will see the benefits for years to come,” said Lane.

Adjusting and potentially becoming the next generation of tech experts.

Galapagos says 55 percent of its students chose in-person learning, while 45 percent chose remote. The school invested into live-streaming for each classroom over the summer. Each camera follows the teacher throughout the room so students can follow along.

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