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Hamagrael teacher wins national sweepstakes

Filed in District by on December 7, 2016

From left: Laura D’Orazio, Allison Hepfner and Dave KsanznakOn Wednesday, Dec. 7, Hamagrael Elementary received a Maker Space Prize Pack worth $4,300 as a part of Barnes & Noble’s Educator Appreciation National Sweepstakes. Hamagrael teacher Allison Hepfer, who entered the sweepstakes on behalf of the school, is the only teacher in the nation to be selected to receive the Barnes & Noble Prize Pack.

The ceremony took place in the auditorium where students watched Laura D’Orazio, Community Business Development Manager at Barnes and Noble in Colonie Center, demonstrate some of the leading products in coding technology that the school won. These products include a da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer from XYZprinting, an Ozobot Classroom Kit, a littleBits STEAM Student Set and a Mecacano Meccanoid G15 to name a few.

Laura D’Orazio showing Hamagrael students how to use DashThese Maker Space prizes will help educators teach students the valuable skills of coding and 3D printing, while giving students the opportunity to gain hands-on learning experiences in the art of designing, handcrafting and constructing.

“At Hamagrael, we encourage our students to be problem solvers and critical thinkers,” said Hepfer. “The maker space and the prizes we received will allow the children to collaborate in a really innovative way.

Laura D’Orazio and Allison Hepfer looking at all the products from the Maker Space Prize Pack“Students will be able to use it in their classrooms and we will be setting up a Maker Space in the school,” added Hepfer. “We also hope to partner with students from the high school to help guide our young students as they explore this new technology.”   

In order to effectively integrate the materials into the classrooms, Hamagrael teachers will be receiving additional training from Barnes and Noble to learn how to use the materials, such as lessons about coding and the use of the 3-D printer. 

For more photos visit the district’s Facebook page.

Link to Times Union photo album from Dec. 7 event.