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Chinese Educators Visit Norwin High School and Hahntown Elementary School

A delegation of ten Chinese educators toured Norwin High School in early February to see an example of an innovative STEM education program in the United States.

The Chinese educators, who hail from the Wenzhou and Peking regions of China, toured Norwin High School and Hahntown Elementary School on February 8, 2018. They discussed the STEM Innovation Program offerings with administrators, and learned about the structure of the American school day.

The International Foundation Alliance of Pittsburgh facilitated the visit. Norwin administrators showed the Chinese educators several classes at Norwin High School, including Manufacturing II, Introduction to Engineering Design, AP Biology, and AP Chemistry. Cadets from the High School’s Air Force Junior ROTC class demonstrated a drill and drone maneuvers for the delegation. The group also observed a programmable robot that follows specific technological commands as it interacted with Norwin students in the Life Skills program.

“The Norwin School District exemplifies all that is right with our public education systems, and is beginning meaningful discourse and collaboration with school systems in The People’s Republic of China,” said Dr. Tim Glasspool, director of the IFA-Pittsburgh Center.

The IFA-PIT’s mission is to promote and support international education and cultural experiences for school-age students and educators through scholarship and shared experiences.

Dr. Glasspool and Mr. Don Dai, who is president of IFA EduChina, accompanied the contingent. Mr. Robert Perkins, President of the Norwin Board of Education, was part of the District’s welcoming committee.

Norwin was honored to be one of two southwestern Pennsylvania high schools selected for the delegation’s tour. The District’s STEM Innovation Program provides a high-tech environment with open work spaces for team-building and skill development in the ‘Five C’s’ of 21st Century Education: Careers, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.

The Norwin STEM Innovation program focuses on five major career pathways that are aligned with high-demand occupations needed in our region and throughout the U.S. These include Advanced Manufacturing, Biomedical Sciences, Computer Science Engineering, Energy & Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering.

The Chinese Educator Delegation has invited a Norwin educator delegation to visit China in September 2018, and has asked Norwin School District to consider hosting sixth and seventh-grade Chinese students for two weeks in October.  The latter would require arrangements with Norwin families to host the students.

Dr. William Kerr, Norwin Superintendent of Schools, said the Administration is exploring this possibility, including required logistics, expectations, and coordination, before making a formal presentation to the Board of Education.

“Building a professional working relationship and partnership with Chinese educators and students will provide rich educational opportunities in the future, based on the belief that our students and educators are, in many respects, already global citizens,” Dr. Kerr said. “This is a unique opportunity that the Administration will further explore.”