Two districts approve funding for STEM center

Posted on Oct 14, 2015

On a divided vote Monday, the Indiana Area school board approved a cash contribution to help close a gap in funding for construction of the Central Allegheny Challenger Learning Center and the Indiana County STEM Academy at Indiana County Technology Center.

The directors voted 5 to 3, with one abstaining, to donate $722,800 toward the $9 million project.

At the same time last night, the Purchase Line school board passed its motion to commit to the project. The initial price tag for the district to buy into the two programs is $146,800. (more…)

INDIANA AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT: Union opposes STEM academy funding

Posted on Sep 29, 2015

The teachers’ union at Indiana Area School District has gone on record against a request for more than $722,000 to support construction of a Challenger Learning Center and STEM Academy at Indiana County Technology Center.

The Indiana Area school board on Monday pushed the vote back to its Oct. 12 meeting after hearing a round of opposition, mainly for economic but also for academic reasons.

The delay also would give directors a chance to consider a summary of an extensive discussion held Sept. 22 by the board’s Academic and Extracurricular Committee. (more…)

Indiana County districts asked to commit funds, students for STEM facility

Posted on Sep 25, 2015

Seven school districts in Indiana County are being asked to make a combined capital investment of $2 million to help the proposed county STEM Academy and Central Allegheny Challenger Learning Center take flight.

At this month’s school board meetings, two local districts got an accounting of what their shares of the cost would be, based on the number of students each sends to the Indiana County Technology Center. (more…)


Posted on Sep 15, 2015

ICTC Director, Eric Palmer, and Educational Liaison, Rod Green, gave an ICTCSTEM/Central Allegheny Challenger Learning Center (CACLC) presentation at last night’s Purchase Line School Board meeting.  Palmer needs local investment before bigger corporations will invest.

Palmer describes the investment as a, “true once in a lifetime opportunity for students.”

The CACLC is a newly organized PA non profit organization and will be located inWhiteTownship.  (more…)

What Does STEM Have to do with Indiana County?

Posted on May 1, 2015

The need for STEM in Indiana County is outlined by several key members of the community including: Jim Struzzi (Indiana County Chamber President), Rodney Ruddock (County Commissioner), Steve Wolfe (IRMC President), Byron Stauffer (County Planning Office) and Carol Fry (Director of the Indiana County Technology Center and home of the new Allegheny County Challenger Learning Center and the STEM Academy). (more…)

Regional Challenger Learning Center Gaining Support

Posted on Mar 18, 2015

The opportunity for local students to train on experiments like NASA astronauts, as well as learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (also known as STEM) skills is picking up speed in the region.

In April 2013, three Indiana County educators received support from the Armstrong County Commissioners via proclamation for a regional Challenger Learning Center to entice students – particularly middle-schoolers – to become more interested in higher-level courses. (more…)

Indiana County Technology Center markets science academy

Posted on Jan 28, 2015

The Indiana County Technology Center has launched a public information campaign to explain the mission of a new STEM academy proposed for development in tandem with the Challenger Learning Center at ICTC.

The superintendents’ advisory council at ICTC, including the leaders of the seven member districts, has prepared a PowerPoint presentation that details plans for SIFI, the STEM Institute for Future Innovators, and describes the three main career-targeted courses of study that the academy would offer. (more…)

The Challenger Learning Center Makes Presentation to the Marcellus Shale Coalition

Posted on Jan 24, 2015

Dave Wallace, co-founder and former CEO of Superior Well Services, as well as former Chairman of Nabors Completion and Production Services, made a presentation to the Marcellus Shale Coalition yesterday on behalf of The Challenger Learning Center, which is set to make its home in Indiana County.

The Challenger Learning Center recently received a $2 million grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), which puts organizers more than halfway to their total fundraising goal of about $8 to $9 million.  The CACLC is the first such center in the state of Pennsylvania to receive a NASA granted license. (more…)


Posted on Jan 13, 2015

The Marion Center School Board heard an overview of the upcoming STEM Academy that will eventually be added to the Indiana County Technology Center, offering students three new tracks: Energy, Applied Science and Engineering Technology, and Bio-Medical Health. The cost of the program would likely be around $430,000 split among the seven school districts in Indiana County based on school size and students attending ICTC. Superintendent Dr. Frank Garritano reported that Marion Center’s portion could cost about an annual $75,000, though that number could change depending on how many students actually take part in the program.

The STEM Academy would provide students the chance to get real world experience and certification. Though no time line is officially set for the project, it could be completed for the 2016-2017 school year. (more…)

Coordinator sought to advance Indiana County STEM academy project

Posted on Dec 26, 2014

Officials at the Indiana County Technology Center have approved creating a position for a coordinator who will help oversee efforts to establish an academy for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education on the ICTC campus.

Vicki Smith, who chairs the ICTC Joint Operating Committee of school board representatives from member districts, reported on the move while presiding over the Dec. 18 meeting of the Homer-Center School Board. (more…)