New Ohio STEAM School Includes Robotics, Creative Space, and E-Sports


(TNS) – The soon-to-be-opened Xenia STEAM School is planning a $ 10 million renovation of the old YMCA building on East Church Street to include drone and robotics labs, a climbing gym, a Makerspace and an esports arena.

The project includes $ 4 million in renovations and a $ 6 million 24,000 square foot expansion. STEAM refers to the often lumped academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math, while adding the arts.

Rather than individual classrooms, the school’s renovations are primarily based on the “neighborhood system,” said founder Dr Jeremy Ervin, providing teachers with expansive interior spaces to design as they see fit, in depending on the project.

Community Steam Academy-Xenia officials said they would use a prefabricated adaptable wall system, developed by Canadian company DIRTT, which is durable, soundproof and can be used as a whiteboard. Modular walls are tracked by software, which teachers can use to design and create whole new classrooms virtually overnight.

CSA-Xenia is also partnering with Vyral, a Kettering-based esports complex, to create the school’s esports program, featuring powerful student-built PCs capable of supporting graphic design, 3D modeling software and animation.

“Some people say esports is ‘oh, you just encourage them to play more video games,’” Ervin said. “Esport is a game of fairness, for those who are not predisposed to normal athletics. They continue to develop their skills, to play as a team, to forge an identity.”

In their classes, ninth grade students will be exposed to the various ‘pathways’ leading to graduation, including drone operation and maintenance, graphic design, entrepreneurship, robotics, the culinary arts, etc. The courses will also include a “biotechnological” course, to meet the strong demand for health professionals in the region.

“We have an agile program because it’s relevant to the community we’re in. If it were a school in Cleveland, for example, we might not have a biotech path,” he said. said Ervin. “We tailor it to the needs of the students and relate it to the needs of the community.”

“Our students need to be aware that they can make a difference,” he added.

The school plans to emphasize the dignity of the trades and find careers for students where there is no need to go to college.

“We created a stigma in society where if you didn’t go to college you are something less,” Ervin said. “But there are people who do amazing things in business and in life who have never been to college once. We should applaud both paths equally.”

The school will begin classes in fall 2022, with grades 6-10. Like the Dayton Regional Stem School or the Global Impact STEM School in Springfield, CSA-Xenia is a tuition-free public school open to any student from the state.

The school plans to expand to accommodate grades 11-12 over the next few school years and then eventually accommodate K-5 grades in the old East High School building on Market Street. The renovation of the Market Street building is expected to cost around $ 6 million.

Over the next four years, CSA-Xenia hopes to increase its enrollment to 1,200 students.

The last open house before the demolition day is this Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

© 2022 Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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