Somerville students win grant to help revamp school

SOMERVILLE, MA (WHDH) - A Somerville school will undergo a major makeover, thanks to some students who entered a contest and won some big money.

A group from Steam Academy, a small innovation school in Somerville, entered the XQ Super School Project. The contest was developed by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple creator Steve Jobs. The winning prize? Ten million dollars.

“I think it was something like 40,000 people entered, close to 1,000 at the end,” said Alec Resnick. “We weren’t expecting to win at all.”

Resnick is the director of Powder House Studios, a new public school being developed in Somerville. The school is an expanded version of Steam Academy that will be rethinking the traditional learning model. Somerville Superintendent Mary Skipper said the school will be project and competency-based, allowing teachers to teach individually.

Somerville will use the $10 million in prize money to renovate the old Powder House Community School and recruit teachers. Resnick and Skipper believe schools will be more like Powder House Studios in the future, taking a vocational, artistic and hands-on approach to teaching and learning.

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