Shelton’s Dalvi honored for STEM teaching efforts
Shelton High School student Ria Dalvi earned top honors this week, but not for her academic accomplishments, instead for her teaching ability.
Dalvi, a sophomore, is a member of the high school’s swimming and nationally recognized robotics team. She was also a four-year member of the award-winning First Lego League Robotics teams, first at Perry Hill School, then Shelton Intermediate School — all to incredible success.
She has since, on her own initiative, chosen to pass on her programming and robotics knowledge to other children, said school Superintendent Chris Clouet.
“This past summer, (Dalvi) initiated and ran a STEM program where she was able to teach creating computer games and animation as well as robot programming,” said Clouet. “She basically set up her own Khan Academy, and that is not a stretch to say that.”
She ran sessions for students in and around Shelton, using some of the First Lego League equipment to facilitate the class. She also conducted online sessions for kids in Nepal teaching them animation.
“I really want to spread a passion for STEM and robotics throughout the Shelton community,” said Ria.
“She is a valued, to say the least, member of the high school robotics team and is passionate about our mission of spreading the excitement of science and technology in our school district,” said Clouet, adding that some of her work can be seen on her Facebook page, STEMing It Up With Ria.
Board of Education Chairman Mark Holden, a major supporter of the district’s robotics programs, said Dalvi’s Facebook page was “amazing,” with videos posted of those students who attended being introduced to the world of robotics.
Robotics coach Michele Piccolo said she first introduced Dalvi to robotics at Perry Hill School, and she has since “blossomed. Ria has all that ability to reach out and be the best member of all the teams she has been on. I see only great things in her future from here on out.”
“We often have the opportunity to celebrate great work of a creative student, someone who goes above and beyond expectations and acts as an adult,” said Clouet, “and, in this case, provides information for children and acted as an educator.”