IDEA Hub: Where ideas become reality
Bellefonte Area High school freshman William Kothe, a student in business teacher Ryan Myers’ entrepreneurship class, has an idea in mind, but isn’t quit sure how to make it happen. Regarding the process of laying carbon fibers, Kothe said he hopes to “come up with new ideas and brainstorm some of the issues.” With the new IDEA Hub in the works, this idea of his can now be made a reality.
The IDEA Hub is a place at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology that will be available for students starting as soon as next school year to further elaborate on an idea of their own and create endless possibilities. IDEA is an acronym that stands for innovation, design, entrepreneurship and action, and is designed for sixth through 12th-grade students from CPI’s sending schools at Bald Eagle, Bellefonte and Penns Valley area school districts. The area will include different tools for students to utilize, including computers, equipment, and experts in areas that will enable students to obtain hands-on experience after school and in the summer, on any kind of idea they have that can be further advanced.
Vaughn Donmoyer is the woodworking and Project Lead the Way pre-engineering teacher at BAHS. With the IDEA Hub, he hopes to see students go out of their way to use the resources available to enhance skills they use inside the classroom. “I am trying to encourage students that (the IDEA Hub) is there for a resource,” Donmoyer said. “The resources we have here are great, but I think it’s nice to possibly have some more resources, whether it’s people, tools, materials, machines – hopefully the IDEA Hub will be able to provide that.” He believes that the IDEA Hub will be most beneficial to students who pursue any field or career choice by enabling hands-on experience before graduating high school. “It will help build a connection for further down the road,” Donmoyer said.
Myers teaches business classes at Bellefonte, including introduction to personal law, introduction to business, entrepreneurship, sports and entertainment marketing, and transition to high school. He was also instrumental in the development of the IDEA Hub, and plans to encourage students to use the hub as much as possible. “I’m most excited about having a place for someone who really has something that they want to take live,” he said. “We do our best in this entrepreneurship class, but it is only 45 minutes long, and then (students) go on to the next period. This is going to be more open-ended, and people can connect with community members that can help them use resources that one school can’t provide.”
According to the Bellefonte Area School District webpage, the IDEA Hub is made possible by a $10,000 grant given by the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network. The main goal of the PSAYDN is to provide out-of-classroom resources to students that encourage innovation and imagination. The space at CPI is one of three youth hubs in Pennsylvania – the other two located in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
While the IDEA Hub is an anticipated resource that will be available soon, more details are still to be worked out to ensure the IDEA Hub is at its full potential. “Part of our challenge now is figuring out who can staff it, where we can get the resources and pulling the component pieces together, and trying to come up with a schedule,” Principal Mike Fedisson said. “We certainly want to get something going this year.”