MANCHESTER, N.H. – If you’re an elementary school student, perhaps the only thing better than taking a look at a whole bunch of new gadgets is taking a look at all those gadgets and then watching a leprechaun dunking a basketball. Just ask the students of Green Acres Elementary School.
On Friday, Southern New Hampshire University and the Boston Celtics helped Green Acres and other local dignitaries christen Cricket Common, its brand-new technology lab, the 13th technology lab they have jointly helped create in New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 2013.
Both organizations have teamed up to bring new STEM-related labs to each of Manchester’s middle schools in the past, but this marks the first time they have helped open one at an elementary school in the Queen City.
“I think this (lab) is meant to be more exploratory than the middle school ones,” said Steve Thiel, SNHU’s Assistant Vice President of Social Impact and Community Relations. “Elementary school students are just discovering what this technology is and how they can use it, the very basics of technology and engineering. So it’s really meant as an exploratory space.”
The new lab includes 35 iPads, 15 Dash Robots with sketch and xylophone kits, two Bee Bots sets, a Makey Makey set, an ESPON short-throw projector, and more, which will help build students’ skills in writing, research, problem-solving, sketching and coding.
“This is pretty exciting, these items will really help our students augment their learning,” said Manchester School District Superintendent Dr. John Goldhardt. “The Boston Celtics and Southern New Hampshire University have been great partners in helping us bring technology into our schools.”
Second-grader Toby Molloy was one of the students who tried things out at Cricket Common first, trying out some coding on a tablet.
“It think it’s cool and I’m glad that the people who made this made it,” Molloy said about the tablet. “It will help me learn technology and it will help me learn more about tablets, so I’m pretty happy.”
Students of the school also gathered for an assembly that featured some acrobatics from Boston Celtics mascot Lucky as well as former Celtics Leon Powe and Dana Barros.
“The amount of technology and valuable resources that have gone into this lab will impact children at this school for years to come,” said Powe. “It’s great that we’re able to come together to create a space to help empower these students as they start their academic careers.”