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The new $3.2 million STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) facility at Rivermont Collegiate will become reality in August.

Ground-breaking ceremonies were held Nov. 5 in the lower parking lot at 1821 Sunset Drive, Bettendorf. Students and families were on hand, as well as members of the Rivermond board and Russell Construction.

The facility is vital not only to Rivermont but also to the community and the region at large, said Headmaster C. Max Roach.

Students will continue to learn 21st Century skills, which are abilities that they will need to succeed in Information Age careers. They include

• Critical thinking

• Creativity

• Collaboration

• Communication

• Information literacy

• Media literacy

• Technology literacy

• Flexibility

• Leadership

• Initiative

• Productivity

• Social skills

The concept of 21st Century skills shifts away from the older paradigm of learning and what to do with knowledge once you’ve learned it, Roach said.

In the past, “Knowledge lived at schools and universities,” he said. “Now knowledge lives in your phone.”

The 21st century skills that students will learn in the new STEAM facility will focus on problem-solving, synthesis and creating in a collaborative environment, “preparing kids for tomorrow’s reality."

“When we talk about STEAM, we talk about project-based learning," he said.

The new building, which has a board room and student commons area, will house 28 students. It also will have three faculty apartments, a “makerspace” with 3D printers and other high-tech equipment and state-of-the-art science labs.

“This perfectly aligns with the Quad-City Chamber’s Q2030 initiative,” Roach said. Having the facility will “create a fundamentally unique experience in the Quad-Cities that cannot be replicated,” he said.

Q2030, a regional action plan to ensure the Quad-Cities is a magnet for people, investments and jobs, is focused on building on the strengths of the Quad-City region and leveraging opportunities.

All of the graduates of Rivermont, which is a private school, are accepted to four-year colleges and universities.

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Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Society of Professional Journalists, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists member. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church.

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