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Wing at Bishop Kelly helps students build STEM skills

“The skills that they're able to get out of here are invaluable.”

BOISE, Idaho — This newly opened space at Bishop Kelly High School is building on the traditional classes in science, technology, engineering and math.

“One class that I'm taking this semester is Advanced Manufacturing, and because of my interest in mechanical engineering, it's kinda giving me an edge on learning how to work in a shop,” says BK student, Jackson Barda.

John McGrew is an IT specialist at BK and also teaches Advanced Manufacturing. 

“Because of the Father Wilson wing, we were able to design our own facility to have the machine shop in here,” he says.

There is more space and more classrooms; even a classroom full of large machinery, all providing more options for students.

“They can move furniture, chairs. They can have one whole classroom devoted to robotics,” explains BK President, Rich Raimondi.

“Last year we didn't really have anywhere to set up a field like this in the back so during winter break we actually had to set it up in one of our garages,” Barda says.

Raimondi says the extra space was needed for the recent boost in enrollment. The wing was opened in August of 2018 with the purpose of focusing on STEM education.

“Everything from chemistry, biology, environmental science, computer science, physics, engineering,” says Raimondi.

Students now have the tools to take their ideas and designs off of paper, and physically bring it to life.

“They model it, they put it on paper, then they bring it out here and actually make it happen,” says McGrew.

Raimondi says the new wing is the perfect space for creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. “The amount of interaction, the excitement teachers using some of the new technologies that we put into the classrooms,” he says.

“The skills that they're able to get out of here are invaluable,” adds McGrew.

We highlight an innovative educator every Monday, on Today's Morning News and the News at 4. If there's a teacher you would like to nominate, you can email us at innovativeeducator@KTVB.com.