Despite being a small rural school, Botha Public School is on the forefront of technological advances, according to Principal Mike Flieger.
Flieger is now into his third year as principal at the school, and having spent years teaching around the province, and he says he knows there’s something special about the hamlet just east of Stettler.
“We have great community and parent involvement,” he said. “Coming from up north, I wasn’t used to that.”
He said that the involvement of students’ parents and the community in general has allowed to school to take brave new steps into technology. The school itself, which is more than half-a-decade old, still boasts its original hardwood floors, but that’s the only thing old-fashioned about it.
Thanks to the hard work of the school board’s maintenance staff, the building is still in top-notch shape, and has the infrastructure necessary to support the latest cutting edge technology.
Botha Public School is one of the few schools to have its own dedicated 3D printer, which will be moved into a new MakerSpace later this year, Flieger said.
The school is able to supply each of its students with a laptop, which means the school’s computer lab was redundant. The lab was gutted and will be turned into a hands-on discovery MakerSpace, where students can use the 3D printer, use a pottery wheel, or learn other hands-on skills, Flieger explained.
The school is currently in transition, as its library is slowly moving to a learning centre rather than a simple repository for books, and organizations like Girls Teaching Code are making pit-stops in the school to teach computer and internet coding skills to students.
“Technology allows our students to become more independent,” Flieger said. “Everyone will have a chance to be taught to code. Some will run with it, others won’t. But technology empowers them and gives them the ability to come to us and ask us if they can try something new.”