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Elementary school teaching students coding and game design opens in Marana

Posted at 10:35 AM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 08:25:57-04

An $18 million new public elementary school is opening Wednesday in Marana. Gladden Farms Elementary School is one of only two schools in the state where computer science is integrated into all subjects.

This 83,000 square foot school will have students using chrome books not only to learn coding and game design, but to make english and history more interactive than in traditional class curriculum.
This school is partnered with "Code to the Future," which is a national computer science immersion program that brings engineering, robotics and high level math to the elementary school level.
The money for this school was approved in 2014 by voters, and the Marana Unified School District said they hope this facility will help change the way children learn.
"Integrating technology into curriculum is really going to expand students learning and really be able to prepare them for those future jobs-jobs we don't even know that they're going to be addressing in the future," said Tamara Crawley of the Marana Unified School District.
The library is called the media center because while it has books, it also offers students a catalog of reading choices on e-readers so they don't have to leave their classrooms.
The school currently has about 450 students enrolled, and is still enrolling for all elementary school students in the city. Gladden Farms Elementary can accommodate about 750 students at full capacity.
Each wing of the school is for a separate grade, and each classroom has a glass moveable wall so teachers can bring students out of the classroom into this floor space to keep students engaged.
Students can have standing desks as well, and the chairs and tables roll so teachers can accommodate for activities like robotics, coding and game design classes.  
"This furniture is conducive to flexibility and its easy to configure into different learning environments where students can not only connect with the teacher but connect with each other," said Crawley.
The bathrooms are at the end of each wing so students can stay close to the classroom and minimize time taking bathroom trips.
This school's opening will relieve the enrollment pressure at Estes Elementary, and Gladden Farms is still accepting students, until the first day of school on August 8th. 
If you'd like to come check out the school with your family, the open house is Wednesday July 20, 2016 from 4p.m. to 6 p.m.