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AEF, tech firm hosts fund-raiser eyeing digital arts studio at AHS

AEF logo"This studio will provide not only a strong technical base for art students, but also a creative outlet for computer science students."
-- David Ardito

The Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) and Involution Studios are the hosts for a fund-raiser to bring a digital arts studio to the Arlington High School.

"Where Creativity Meets Technology: Bringing Digital Arts to the Arlington Schools" is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan, 29, at the Arlington-based software design company, in a refurbished antique ballroom at 661 Mass. Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

During the event, David Ardito, visual arts director for the Arlington public schools, and David Moore, AHS art teacher and digital artist, will outline the district’s vision of a new high school digital arts studio as an increasingly vital component of a forward-looking STEAM curriculum. The letters stand for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

In addition, attendees will get a sneak peek at Involution Studios that employs local software design professionals.

A high school digital arts studio will bridge creativity and technology, a news release issued Jan. 15 says.

"This studio will provide not only a strong technical base for art students, but also a creative outlet for computer science students," Ardito said in the release.

"The combination of our computer science lab and the proposed digital arts studio will give students the skills needed for a wide array of fields, including computer programming, game design, video production, animation and architecture among others."

The educational foundation funded the computer science lab in 2013 during the first year of its technology initiative.

Juhan Sonin, Involution's creative director, said in the release: "It is our civic responsibility to prepare the next generation of Arlingtonians for lifelong learning, from kindergarten on through university.

"To craft and ship emerging technologies and services, every member of Involution Studios needs to know the fundamentals of design and engineering. That’s why we’re supporting AEF; so students have access to -- and a firm grasp on -- art and science."

Involution and the Town of Arlington are partners in an effort to create and expand the Arlington Visual Budget


Oct. 8, 2013: Start-up, town move toward an online budget vision


The gathering kicks off a series of events organized by the educational foundation as part of its technology initiative, a large-scale fund-raising effort to jump-start technology in the Arlington public schools.

The initiative’s goal is to accelerate the use of technology in the district and prepare students for careers in STEAM, said Marie Meteer, chair of the initiative. "We are working in partnership with the school administration to fulfill its technology goals sooner than is possible within current budget constraints," she said in the release.

As part of the third and final year of the initiative, the foundation is raising money for not only a digital arts studio, but also additional engineering and computer science labs at the middle school and portable science workstations at the high school.
Funding these initiatives will require about $130,000. Upcoming AEF events include "Super Pi Day" on March 14 (3.14.15) at Common Ground and the third annual "Tech Showcase" on April 13, with demonstrations of K-12 classroom technology in Arlington.

AEF awards more than $100,000 annually in grants to the Arlington public schools. Over the past two years, it has awarded an additional $85,000 as part of the technology initiative.

For more information about current and past grants, or to donate, visit www.arlingtoneducationfoundationma.org.


This extended announcement was published Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015.

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