By Max Bowen
The North Attleborough High School has received nearly $30,000 to help improve students’ skills in science and technology.
The funds were awarded through the governor’s office and American Student Assistance to launch Innovation Pathways programs in STEM-related fields. Launched in 2017, Innovation Pathways gives students experience in a specific high-demand industry through coursework and internships at local employers. Twenty-one school districts received grants, totaling $354,000.
Through this program, students earn college credits at no cost and gain insight as to whether the field is something they want to pursue. Industries include manufacturing, information technology, environmental and life sciences, health care and social assistance and business and finance. Across the Commonwealth, 26 high schools have designated Innovation Pathways, totaling 61 different programs.
NAHS Principal Peter Haviland said the funds will be used to help students develop skills, knowledge, and mindsets relatable to college courses in order to show them what to expect. He said students working in the school’s Innovation Lab are taught the process so they can learn how to solve problems and adapt, should they make mistakes or encounter unexpected problems.
“It’s all about the learning process,” he said.
Haviland added that students learn to understand the technology they work with and to be resilient and self-sufficient. The Innovation Lab, which was opened earlier this year, includes graphic design classes, a 3-D printer, and laser engraver.
“They manage themselves and their lives,” said Haviland.
A final purchase list hasn’t been decided on but robotics are among the potential courses being talked about. He said that the program isn’t just for those already interested in these fields, but to provide an opportunity to the entire student body.
“We’re providing access to diverse learners,” said Haviland.