Danielson – Administrators from EASTCONN’s Quinebaug Middle College (QMC), a public magnet high school, are pleased to announce that one of their teachers has won a National Science Foundation fellowship to attend a prestigious computer science program this summer at Trinity College.
QMC math teacher Meghan Canning will attend the competitive, six-week-long Mobile Computer Science Principles program at Trinity College in Hartford in preparation for teaching a related, newly developed computer science course for QMC freshmen this fall, according to QMC Principal Gino LoRicco.
LoRicco said that Canning’s expertise in science and math, combined with her enthusiasm and devotion to teaching her QMC students, made her a perfect choice to attend the Trinity computer program.
“Meghan is a natural teacher,” said LoRicco. “She could teach anything. She’s not only very skilled, technologically, but she is always seeking and learning new ways to reach kids.”
The Trinity College computer course will provide Canning’s new QMC computer class with 20 new mobile devices, which students will use to develop and program applications to solve real-world problems, said Paul Pelletier, EASTCONN’s Coordinator of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). All QMC freshmen will take the new computer course, he said.
“The new QMC computer class, which will use App Inventor for Android, will provide students with a rigorous, programming-based introduction to computational thinking, with a focus on building socially useful, place-based mobile apps using the App Inventor programming language,” said Mary Kay Knox, EASTCONN’s STEM Instructional Coach.
“To understand the underpinnings of our digital society, all students need an appreciation of how computers work and why they are so powerful,” said Dr. Chinma Uche, president of the Connecticut Computer Science Teachers Association. Uche co-wrote the NSF grant that is funding Canning’s enrollment in the Trinity College program.
“Giving access to computer science is one of the best investments a district or state [can] make in its students’ future,” Uche continued. “ … A big aspect of the [Trinity] Computer Science Principles course is the understanding and management of data, which is necessary for leaders of tomorrow. The course shows that Computer Science is not only about programming, but also [about] understanding the impact of computers on our lives, the workings of the Internet and algorithmic processes.”
“This is a perfect learning opportunity for Meghan Canning and, by extension, all of QMC’s students,” said LoRicco of his QMC teacher.
Canning is a 2005 graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she received her undergraduate degree in mathematics and statistics, later earning a master’s in secondary education.
EASTCONN administers QMC, a magnet high school for grades 9 to 12, located on the campus of Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson. QMC provides a democratic learning community for responsible, motivated, capable, high school students from across northeastern Connecticut. To learn more about QMC, its STEM-infused curriculum and other learning opportunities at the school, contact QMC Principal Gino LoRicco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EASTCONN is a public, non-profit Regional Educational Service Center that has been serving the education needs of schools and communities in northeastern Connecticut since 1980. Learn more at www.eastconn.org.