Teachers, school administrators and community members gathered in Skaneateles High School on Wednesday, Jan. 22 to cut the ribbon and celebrate the opening of the school’s new Zoom Room.
The Zoom Room is a new computer and technology lab that has all new high definition camcorders, microphones, lights and Apple computers. The equipment was all purchased with a $49,150 grant given to the district by the Skaneateles Education Foundation, who collected donations for the initiative which they called “Zooming In, Zooming Ahead.”
“Now all of our students can have access to the very best equipment and our teachers and students will be creative and exact in their research and their projects because of this room,” Skaneateles Education Foundation President Patti Carey said.
Everything in the room was purchased with donated money and the school district now contributes by maintaining the equipment and providing instruction and support for students to use and learn with the equipment, Carey said.
One of the biggest financial contributors to the grant was Marty and Amanda Cregg, Carey said.
Marty Cregg, President of Skaneateles-based Chase Design, had helped set up a similar lab at the University of Notre Dame and was also able to assist the school in designing and developing the specifications for the room, Paul Blair, the district’s technology director, said.
One of Cregg’s ideas was to have all the tables and equipment in the lab to be on wheels so they can be rearranged to fit the needs of whatever project students are working on, Blair said.
The evening also included a screening of a yet-to-be-completed documentary film about the Zoom Room grant filmed and put together by Skaneateles junior Elizabeth Lane.
Blair said Lane approached him with interest when she heard about the grant. He then proposed she put together a video telling the story of how the Zoom Room came to be by interviewing teachers, administrators and community members who were involved in the process.