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Leaders in Learning: Marsing teacher sees value in STEM education for rural school

Elementary students in rural Marsing are getting their hands on all kinds of new technology! (CBS 2)

A teacher at a small school in rural Idaho is on a mission to provide his students with big opportunities!

John Barenberg, a third grade teacher at Marsing Elementary, believes that allowing students to get their hands on the latest technology at a young age is crucial for making sure that they are ready for whatever career path they choose.

He's been a teacher at Marsing Elementaryl for 32 years. While the technology has changed during that time, his mindset on why it's important has not.

"It's so different! Actually, when I started here, believe it or not, I started using the commodore 64 computers. I would go and get public domain software, like Oregon Trail put on [them], so even back thirty-some years ago, I was trying to get tech going with kids," John Barenberg said. "I want these kids to have a leg up — building foundations so that by the time they are out in the work force they know about using computers, they understand VR (virutal reality), they are ready to tackle the world and whatever it brings!"

With the help of some fellow teachers, Mr. Barenberg applied for grants to help fund his most recent venture.

After receiving support from both the Idaho STEM Action Center and the Albertson's Foundation, Barenberg is stocking up all kinds of new gadgets for his students to try out — from virtual reality headsets to robots!

"If it wasn't for that opportunity, we wouldn't have this," said Barenberg. "Just look at what it's doing for these kids."

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