Riverdale STEM award is well-deserved

Published 1:07 pm Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Western Tidewater area appears to be moving full STEM ahead, at least when it comes to integrating science, technology, engineering and math into school curriculums. Over the past few school years we’ve seen Isle of Wight County Schools hire coding teachers and Paul D. Camp Community College debut a summer STEM program for middle school girls.

Most recently, Riverdale Elementary School in Southampton County was named a “School of TechXcellence” by “District Administration” magazine in recognition of its “Code to the Future” program. This introduces children to computer science beginning in kindergarten, and gives them access to some of the basic tools of programming. Students spend 90 minutes every week working on projects using laptops, iPads and Legos, and collaborating with their peers and teachers.

Riverdale Principal Will Mellbye said it best when he pointed out that it’s hard to quantify what these Southampton kindergarteners, first graders and second graders will be able to accomplish by the time they reach fifth grade. As technology continues to change rapidly, it is vital that students be able to understand how our digital world works and perhaps, be inspired to one day enter a computer science field and make their own contribution.

Congratulations to Riverdale on an innovative program and well-deserved award. We would encourage all other local public and private schools to develop their own STEM initiatives as their budgets allow.