IGNITE - Fall 2018 Winter 2018 - Page 14

TRYING THE TECH OF TOMORROW This mentorship program provides hands-on guidance with the gadgets of the future. St. Katharine of Siena School 8th graders look forward to Thursdays and Fridays because that’s when their creations come to life. 3D-printed pumpkins. Student-designed homes. Virtual reality and drones. At St. Katharine of Siena School in Wayne, students are gaining hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology through a mentoring partnership with the Uncommon Individual Foundation — or UIF for short. Now in its third year, the partnership introduces a team of tech-savvy mentors to the school’s 8th grade classes. Through a series of sessions, the mentors teach students how to design, program, and code their own creations. “It is the way our world is moving, and we are moving with it,” says Christina Elisio, the program’s coordinator and technology teacher at St. Katharine of Siena. “Seeing students’ faces when their designs are 3D-printed is priceless. They are so excited and proud. Moments like that make it all worth it.” 14