Living in a Material World

Cranberry Area School District Superintendent Bill Vonada (third from left) stands with the recipients of the PARSS grant. They are Dan O’Brien (from left), Colin Milne, Zack Bedee and Gayle Mitchell (not pictured). (By Ava Fischer/Student contributor)

Student contributor

PARSS (Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools) has begun to fund Cranberry High School’s “Living in a Material World” program with an $1,150 financial investment, following a successful grant application constructed by Cranberry staff Colin Milne, Gayle Mitchell and Zack Bedee. This program offers financial grants and an opportunity to shed light on the computer science world at the school.

“The short-term goals of this project are simply to increase awareness and interest in the related fields of computer science, robotics, and drone aviation,” Colin Milne, a teacher who specializes in computer science at Cranberry, explained.

Milne, the lead on the grant, and his team are providing a 3D printer to allow students to dig deeper into different aspects of computer science, such as engineering. They hope that this program will be able to open students’ eyes to new technology and the robotics world, and that these experiences could present Cranberry students with the opportunity to master STEM-related topics while possibly moving on to work in technology fields following graduation.

“By developing our students’ strengths in the areas of computer science and engineering, we will be preparing them to be competitive and adaptive contributors to our society… The impact of this grant on our school will be lasting.”

Although it may take time to recognize the extent of the grants’ effectiveness, it is clear that funding of STEM-related classes, extracurricular activities, and research will present Cranberry students with many opportunities that they would not have had otherwise.


Gillian White and Ava Fischer are students at Cranberry High School and members of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications class.