Midd State News

Middletown City School District Awarded Grant for AR/VR Technology

Posted on: August 31, 2018
Board of Education with giant check

The hard work of the Middletown City School District (MCSD) administration paid off to the sum of a $12,224 grant from the Middletown Community Foundation.

At the Aug. 27 Middletown Board of Education meeting, Chris Urso, MCSD Board President, accepted a $12,224 check from the Middletown Community Foundation. The grant funds will go towards Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) devices for the new AR/VR course being offered at the Middletown High School, the Makerspace at the Middletown Middle School, and to provide all students with the opportunity to engage and learn from a virtual reality experience.

“The Virtual Reality devices will be used in a variety of ways, a couple of which are to help the Middletown students experience places and things they would otherwise never get to experience, such as visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris or analyzing the human heart in 3D. The VR technology will allow the high school students to learn how to code the experiences,”said Melissa Prohaska, MCSD Technology and Digital Coordinator.

Middletown City School District, in an intense effort to level the playing field for all learners, is implementing a modernized strategic technological plan that includes increased digital learning experiences.  The leaders of the district will introduce virtual reality to the curriculum, providing students with virtual experiences and coding instruction.  

“We’re thrilled the Middletown Community Foundation grant gives Middletown Schools the ability to dive in further with our district STEAM initiative, especially the ‘A’ in STEAM. We’re trailblazing a new path for our Arts Programs and the AR/VR devices gives us a way to leverage technology through those creative departments,” said Prohaska.

The partnership between the two entities is well-established, but the leaders of the organizations have a vision to close the gaps between district and community.

“Middletown City Schools are striving for and committed to a modernization movement that will propel students of all ages into an area of technology that will enhance their learning experience tremendously,” said Carole Shul, Middletown Community Foundation Board President. “The Foundation is excited to be a part of that movement. Hopefully this grant, and the virtual reality devices it will provide to the schools, will open a whole new world to the students and provide them with an opportunity to learn on a completely different level.” 

The MCSD Board of Education along with the district’s administration are confident community partnerships are a key part to the district’s implementation of forward-thinking, innovative learning models.

“On behalf of the Middletown Board of Education, I would like to thank the Middletown Community Foundation for providing the grant funds for our students. These dollars will allow our school leaders to expand the STEAM programs within our school district and this innovation will not only benefit all of our students, but also keep our curriculum relevant and future-thinking,” said Chris Urso, President of the Middletown Board of Education.