The Industrial Technology program at Ottawa Middle School is on the verge of an upgrade.

Presenting before the USD 290 board of education at their regular meeting Monday night, Jason Circle gave a pitch for a $70,000 Pitsco Education “Expeditions” curriculum. Circle is the middle school’s Introduction to Industrial Technology teacher.

“March of 2017 we were notified that our current curriculum was going to be retired in 2018 with continuing service into the end of this May — next month,” Circle said.

After examining offerings by several different curriculum providers -- some with price tags as high as $200,000 — Circle settled on Pitsco, a company the district has worked with for 20 years. Wanting to test the new curriculum before bringing it

before the board, Circle selected four students to test-drive the offering for a day -- Kamryn Dials, Teigan Good, Jacelyn Hedges, and Maleah Morris.

“These young ladies represent the excellence that Ottawa middle school expects from our students,” Circle said. “They are not afraid to ask questions, and they are not afraid to be leaders.”

The students spent the day working with the new curriculum, at one point actually uncovering a programing error. The problem was quickly rectified, and Circle lauded the students for their academic acuity.

A request for new classroom furniture was also included in the curriculum pitch.

“We have some furniture that is 20 years old -- according to maintenance, it’s probably not going to survive another move, Circle explained. “It also doesn’t allow for a flexible classroom for both large and small group learning.”

The curriculum will allow integration with students’ school issued Chromebooks, and will an estimated 10 year lifespan, Circle said. The board is expected to take action on the request at a later date.