Educational development program holds first local event at Roycemore School

Marissa Page, Assistant City Editor

An education and technology development organization will host its first Chicago-area event at the Roycemore School, 1200 Davis St., on Saturday, April 25.

Share Fair Nation was founded in Denver in 2009 by John and Carrie Morgridge of the Morgridge Family Foundation, a group that invests in educational development. Share Fair specifically aims to educate and provide teachers with access to the latest in educational technology and developments in teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Carrie Morgridge said.

“(The foundation) invested in technology, and we went to put it into the classrooms, but the teachers weren’t even trained on how to turn on a SMART board let alone hook it up to their laptop or desktop,” she said. “That really was an ‘Aha!’ moment for us, that we need to train teachers if we’re going to give out interactive whiteboards and put technology into their classrooms.”

Saturday’s event, co-sponsored by Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development, will feature two parts. Educators will spend the day engaging in professional development sessions called Classroom Intensives and engaging in workshops and an interactive “STEMosphere,” which will be free and open to the public, said Kevin Smith, Roycemore’s headmaster.

“This is a time when parents and kids come in and play,” Smith said. “We have great exhibits, everything from materials from the Field Museum to very hands-on coding activities and a number of various flight simulators.”

Several of the outside speakers and presenters for the Roycemore Share Fair event were facilitated by CTD, said David Johnson, manager of marketing and communications for CTD.

“We’ve helped to spread the word for them and we’ve helped to recruit different exhibitors and different instructors to come and be a part of the Classroom Intensives as well as the STEMosphere,” Johnson said.

Smith, who became Roycemore’s headmaster in July 2013, said the event would hopefully occur annually. He said he developed a strong relationship with the Morgridges and Share Fair when he served as headmaster at Denver Academy.

“I’ve attended every one of the Denver Share Fairs and have a long relationship with (the Morgridges) both as donors and as friends,” Smith said. “I really believe in the mission they have, so I wanted to help them with their ambition to scale it to a national model.”

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