The River Valley team participated in the 2023 Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC). The conference kicked off with a tour of Gecko Robotics in Pittsburgh, where the team learn about and even drove wall-climbing robots that are used to inspect infrastructure. This was just a glimpse into the tech opportunities in the Pittsburgh region. As part of the kick-off event, Superintendent Mr. Philip Martell was recognized as a finalist for the Innovation in Education Awards for his work in creating STEAM education and workforce development opportunities for students.
River Valley School District was represented in two sessions during the conference. In the first, an IT Leaders Forum, Mr. Martell presented the STEAM Academy concept and how River Valley is leading the way in Cybersecurity education at the high school level. He was joined by Norton Gusky, a leader in educational technology in the Pittsburgh region, Ed McKaveney, Technology Director at Hampton Township School District, and Richard Platts, Chief Technology Officer at Allegheny Intermediate Unit. The session included a discussion about how to provide students with a depth of knowledge in computer science and cybersecurity.
In the afternoon, Mr. Martell was joined by Beth Carr of Beable Education to present “River Valley School District Goes Full STEAM Ahead.” The session outlined how the River Valley STEAM Academy is providing workforce development to high school students and how the Beable platform supports students in career exploration starting in kindergarten. Together this approach helps students identify their strengths and interests so they can make informed decisions about their education and future.
Elementary Principals Mrs. Tracy Richards and Mr. Brian Higginbotham, High School Principal Mr. Mike Leasure, Career Transition Consultant Mr. Jeff Geesey, Director of Educational Technology Mrs. Linzi Strong, and Educational Data Specialist Mrs. Diane Antonacci also attended the conference. The River Valley team participated in sessions that spanned topics from robotics to space exploration. They are excited to bring the new ideas they learned to students in all grade levels.