Students at St. Mary's School for the Deaf in Buffalo received a technology upgrade Friday that will enhance their STEM learning. National Grid gas donated 10 Atlas laptop computers from Bak USA to the school.
“Good morning,” said JP Bak, co-founder & chairman of Bak USA, who tried out sign language to greet St. Mary's students in their science lab.
“I have a little confession here. I actually have a hearing aid, so I know how you guys feel. I can take it up and down in level, but today I am here to speak to you guys, but not listen to myself,” explained Bak.
Bak, headquartered in Buffalo, produces consumer tablets and electronic pieces.
The Atlas laptops are a two in one-mobile computer designed for K-12 classrooms.
“Our hope is we will be able to follow up and you will be able to keep us informed how this will work for you guys and if you want us to make changes, improvements, stuff you want to discuss with us, come to us,” Bak said.
The company leader also invited students to visit the Buffalo factory where the devices are made.
National Grid is working to support STEM curriculum throughout the region from elementary through college. National Grid's Regional Manager Ken Kujawa said the company is working to enhance STEM learning for students in the territory it serves.
“National Grid has a strong commitment to STEM,” Kujawa told students. “Our goal is to really help create a workforce that is going to be our future here in western New York. We’re glad that we can help St. Mary’s School for the Deaf advance the STEM and science program here at your school.”
St. Mary's School for the Deaf Associate Principal Aimee Bell says the new laptops will be a big boost for students learning STEM.
“Some of our students do go onto college and some of them go directly into the workforce and so we are trying to build those skills through technology that they will have immediately after leaving our school – that’s the ultimate goal – prepare them to be ready for the real world,” Bell explained.
There are more than 100 students at St. Mary's with a variety of hearing levels. The new laptops will allow students to interact with STEM topics in the real world. Eighth grader Jonathan Allen says he believes the donation will enhance his classroom learning.
“I feel really thankful because not a lot of people do this for us, but it’s really cool,” declared Allen.