McAnnulty Masterminds is an after-school program sponsored through the generosity of WQED and the PBS Ready to Learn Grant. Each session, first-grade students and their families participate in a variety of STEAM activities and projects. These activities enhance critical thinking and cooperative learning, and promote technology and digital media through a home-school partnership. In this smaller group environment, students have more accessibility to the resources and hands-on opportunities for exploration and reflection. Activities engage families in project-based learning and the engineering design process. The curriculum incorporates PBS Math IQ lessons, Ruff Ruffman STEAM concepts, Scratch Jr., and various technology challenges. The primary goal is to extend learning opportunities to include 21st-century skills through a real-world approach.
This program has been a successful offering at McAnnulty Elementary School for several years. An exciting development is that this year Baldwin-Whitehall is the pilot district for the new PBS show, Molly of Denali! This is a Family Creative Program developed as part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Ready to Learn Initiative with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Ready to Learn is a federal grant program that supports the development of innovative programming for school-aged children and their families. This program promotes Informational Text with young learners through a variety of IT learning goals that promote the literacy framework of research-based reading and writing strategies.