Pinny tech class gets boost from Best Buy


PINCONNING — A class that teaches students how to use gadgets such as camcorders, editing equipment and DVD burners could create a huge expense for a school district.

But in Pinconning Area Middle School (PAMS), where the Communication Technology course has exposed students to cutting edge technology since the late 90’s, a $2,000 grant awarded from Best Buy Co., Inc. will remove some of that financial burden.

PAMS was one of 1,300 schools nationwide to receive the $2,000 Best Buy Teach Award and is now in the running for one of eight $100,000 Best Buy grants that will be awarded in May. Another 50 schools throughout the country received grants of $10,000.

Tina Bauer, the District Coordinator for Pinconning Area Schools, said that the grant would assist the district in keeping up with the nonstop changes in the technological field.

“Schools don’t really keep current in with technology because of funding,” Bauer said. “Everything gets outdated.”

Bauer said that the $2,000, which was awarded in the form of a Best Buy gift card, was used to purchase new camcorders, portable hard drive and a DVD burner, plus one piece of equipment that will be sure to spice up the Communication Technology classroom.

“We bought a 47-inch flat screen LCD (liquid crystal display) TV,” Bauer said, adding that the television is used to display class instructions and tasks. “Before, students had to gather around the teacher’s computer (for instructions).”

But the other new items will also be used quite regularly, Bauer said, as the class stays busy experimenting with new electronics.

“They (students in the class) make commercials for things going on in the school. … They do newscasts,” Bauer said, adding that the students also put together DVD yearbooks. “It (DVD yearbook) is just like making a movie.”

Bauer also said that the grant application from Best Buy was made available to all schools at the beginning of the school year but that it takes a special program to get one the Best Buy awards.

“A lot of schools don’t offer classes like this,” Bauer said.

The Best Buy Teach Award Program has been in operation since 2003. Since its inception, nearly 5,000 schools nationwide have received $14 million in grant funds.


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