The OPUS Collective is an online, openly accessible, searchable repository of culture-rich, curriculum-linked stories created through digital media. In its completion, the site will include Web 2.0 social technologies such as story ratings, comment fields, storyteller profiles, user-created groups, scripts to embed OPUS stories into other blogs or websites, and the ability to link to stories hosted on other sites such as YouTube. To this end, the word "opus" not only refers to an original creative work, but the acronym also represents the goal of "Offering Perspective Using Storytelling.
The School Robotics Initiative
The School Robotics Initiative (SRI) serves a critical need in public schools by promoting elementary-school student interest in careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Since 2006, the SRI has worked with elementary and middle schools in Pomona and Walnut Valley school districts to develop and implement an innovative robotics curriculum that has successfully served over 750 students representing diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and achievement levels. This year alone, SRI schools will serve approximately 700 students in grades 4 through 8. During weekly classroom sessions, participating students use LEGO® Mindstorms NXT robotics invention kits to develop expertise in robotics design and construction as well as targeted knowledge and skills in math, science, writing and technology. The curriculum supports emergent mathematical and scientific thinking and has strong ties to the California Common Core Standards for Mathematics, as well as national standards in, science, literacy, and technology.