Alexandria City Public Schools Partnership with Virginia Tech to Strengthen STEM Opportunities for Students

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and Virginia Tech have expanded their partnership to enhance science, technology, engineering and math opportunities for students and create potential pathways to higher education. The partnership kicked off its pilot program at James K. Polk Elementary School with Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus Vice President and Executive Director Dr. Lance Collins and ACPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. joining Principal Carla Carter and teachers in distributing micro:bit equipment to all fifth-grade students.

“This partnership increases equitable access to opportunities in the STEM field for children who may not have otherwise had those opportunities,” said ACPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. “Through it, our staff will be able to provide our students with even more engaging and creative learning experiences.”

Students at James K. Polk Elementary School will have the chance to learn about the Micro:bit—a pocket-sized computer that shows how software and hardware work together. It has an LED light display, buttons, sensors and input/output features that, when programmed, let it interact with the user.

The goal is to inspire young people to get excited about technology and the opportunities it presents for them by creating free, user-friendly educational resources that support teachers in delivering engaging and creative lessons. The pilot program will be extended to additional schools in the future.