Gov. Ivey visits Austin Middle schoolers as statewide STEM program is announced

Ivey along with representatives Terri Collins and Arthur Orr, state superintendent Eric Mackey and Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling all came to Austin Middle School to see first hand how one class is using Learning Blade.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 8:02 PM

Middle school students across the state will now have access to a STEM career learning program called Learning Blade. It's thanks to a grant from Boeing and its joint initiative with the Alabama of Commerce.

On monday, Gov. Kay Ivey toured a classroom at Austin Middle School in Decatur, where more students use the program than any other in the state.

Ivey along with representatives Terri Collins and Arthur Orr, state superintendent Eric Mackey and Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling all came to Austin Middle School to see first hand how one class is using Learning Blade. It's a program that gives students an inside look into different careers in them stem and computer science fields.

"We're going statewide with this program and hats off to Austin Middle School," Ivey said.

She said after seeing how students use the system she couldn't be more pleased that it will now be available to more alabama students.

"These young people are going to be the leaders of tomorrow and the employees of tomorrow so it's important that they have a full hands on experience with STEM," she said.

"I screamed and then I called my principal she screamed as well," Misty Kudlas, a teacher at Austin Middle School, said.

This is Kudlas' first year teaching at Austin Middle School, and it's also the first year the school started using Learning Blade. Kudlas said about a month ago she got a call saying Governor Ivey wanted to come to tour her classroom and speak to the students about the program.

Kudlas says she was happy the governor chose her classroom to tour.

"We're very honored to have her here."

Some students also got to tell the governor how this system has changed their learning experience and about their excitement for fellow students.

"It's great for them and they want it to be great for all the other kids in the state of Alabama," Kudlas said.

As an incentive to get schools to use the program, schools can win a 3D printer for participating. Schools also can win if students complete 5,000 online lessons in a single school year on learning blade.

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