Walden Security Technology Donation Aids PEF eLab Expansion

Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Dr. Dan D. Challener of PEF, on left, accepted a $25,000 donation of tablets from Walden Security and its company president, Michael S. Walden to support the eLab expansion project throughout the county
Dr. Dan D. Challener of PEF, on left, accepted a $25,000 donation of tablets from Walden Security and its company president, Michael S. Walden to support the eLab expansion project throughout the county

Walden Security has donated $25,000 in tablets to the Public Education Foundation in support of the recently announced eLab network expansion across Hamilton County Schools. 

For over 30 years, PEF has provided advancement training, resources and research for education professionals in the Hamilton County region. PEF began its partnership with local school officials to develop eLabs in 2016, and plans to double the current number of labs by 2024. The eLabs are digital fabrication studios that provide students unique access to rapid prototyping technologies, such as CNC routers, 3D printers and laser cutters.

“The timing is perfect,” Michael Stone, PEF director of Innovative Learning, said. “Our existing eLabs are present in area middle and high schools, and our current goal is to establish new studios in elementary schools.”

The more than 150 tablets donated by Walden Security will help facilitate these labs by supplying young students with technology that is developmentally appropriate for their age. According to Mr. Stone, the tablets’ touch-screen, multimedia interface replaces the need for a mouse, which requires advanced dexterity that children typically do not yet possess.

A portable tool, the tablets will be used for introducing advanced concepts such as robotics, coding and product development, while teaching students to be problem-solving individuals. Additionally, the tablets document and articulate the process through audio and video recordings.

As a company dedicated to education, Walden Security supports professional development for its employees as well as needs-based learning opportunities in the community. The company’s president, Michael S. Walden, believes raising the bar for education requires investment from community. 

“Education is priceless in its ability to open doors for anyone regardless of their background or circumstances,” Mr. Walden said. “Walden Security proudly supports PEF and their mission to positively impact the lives of students and families in our community. As a longtime supporter of PEF, we are excited to be part of their achievements.”

Placement for the new eLabs is being determined by a competitive proposal process. The winning schools will be publicly announced within the next few weeks, according to PEF President Dr. Dan D. Challener. 

“PEF is grateful for the opportunity to improve our eLabs with the donation from Walden Security,” Dr. Challener said. “Our ongoing partnership continues to advance our mission and positively impact the community. We look forward to our upcoming announcement and launching our initiative.”

Chief of Innovation and Choice Jill Levine for Hamilton County Schools agreed that partnerships like that of Walden Security and PEF are integral in advancing the quality of education for area youth. 

“In the Hamilton County Schools, we aim to inspire students to do great things,” Ms. Levine said. “However, to do this, we must also provide them with appropriate technology tools. We are grateful for the generosity of Walden Security as we strive to ensure all HCS students are future ready.”



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