Santa Fe Public Schools will showcase the city’s brightest young problem solvers Thursday at its 2020 Innovation Expo at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

The event, which begins at 5 p.m., will highlight how the district has emphasized computer science in recent years to integrate technology across all subjects.

“Computer science isn’t an add-on. We’re not diverting from literacy and math. We’re using tech to enhance the environment for teacher and learner,” said Tom Ryan, the district’s chief information and strategy officer. “Bilingual education, art, music — every subject is impacted by the use of technology to help students move forward.”

In March, voters approved the continuation of a property tax levy to provide Santa Fe Public Schools with $11 million a year for five years to pay for digital learning coaches, take-home laptop computers, wireless upgrades and other technological support.

Every school in the district will be represented Thursday. Students will participate in a science fair as well as contests for app coding and design. Teachers will demonstrate how to use science, technology, engineering and math in the classroom.

“We use STEM to teach our students to collaborate and think critically and apply learning to real-world problems,” said Neal Weaver, the district’s director of digital learning.

In September 2018, the school board passed a resolution directing district leaders to develop a K-12 computer science curriculum within five years that would have the support of the local science and technology sector. Ryan said more than a dozen colleges, universities and local businesses will attend the event.

It is open to the public and will conclude with an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m.

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Bill Roth

Even if you don't have a kid in the fair, I would highly recommend going! A friend of mine's son is in the fair, and if the rest of the entrants are anything close to the quality of his, the fair should be fantastic! Congratulations to all the students who qualified for this. Good work!

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