WINFIELD, W.Va. -- One of Putnam County's middle school science teachers was recognized by county school board members Monday for one innovative hour spent with students that earned her statewide recognition -- and $10,000.
Erika Klose, a teacher at Winfield Middle School, introduced the "Hour of Code" to her classroom curriculum this year. The campaign, part of the annual Computer Science Education Week, was held last week by Code.org, a nonprofit group that wants to expand computer science education.
"Amazingly, there are fewer kids learning computer science today than a decade ago," said county Schools Superintendent Chuck Hatfield. "We do as much as we can, and as much as our facilities will allow; this is part of our ongoing initiative for a one-to-one student to device ratio."
The "Hour of Code" features lessons from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, as well as interactive lessons centered on popular games like Angry Birds. The program has already reached 10 million students, and Code.org has rewarded the students at Winfield Middle with a $10,000 grant award for furthering their computer education.
Hatfield presented Klose with an oversized check Monday evening, but according to her, the money has already been spent.
"I've purchased 32 laptops for the classroom -- they're on their way right now," Klose said.
Hatfield also announced that all Putnam high school juniors are participating in the first state-mandated Compass Test. The test, an American College Testing exam, is designed to evaluate students in different subject areas and place them in courses relative to their needs, according to Cindy Daniel, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
"It's a gauge of readiness for students who plan to attend college," Daniel said. "The courses aren't 'remedial' -- they're designed as a kind of booster that encapsulates what students will need to focus on going into college."