Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Idaho National Laboratory awards STEM grants to Idaho schools

Idaho National Laboratory has awarded two eastern Idaho schools with Ultimate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) grants, worth up to $10,000, to enhance and supplement their STEM learning  In addition, four Extreme Classroom Makeover grants worth up to $5,000 were awarded in southeast Idaho. Statewide, 19 STEM Mini grants worth up to $500 were awarded.

Teachers and principals from public and private schools throughout the state apply each year for INL STEM grants, which are awarded based on the educator’s plan, idea or classroom needs to bolster STEM education. The money can be used to purchase equipment and materials for classrooms.

“Too often, educators and administrators are not aware of the funding opportunities available in their own backyard,” said Amy Lientz, INL’s director of Partnerships, Engagement and Technology Deployment. “This type of funding allows for furthering student interest in STEM careers and helps to grow our talent pipeline, enabling a sustainable future workforce.”

Ultimate STEM Grant recipients are:

Chase Crook, Rigby Middle School, Rigby: $10,000, to purchase life science materials for the classroom.

Kristoffer Smith, Longfellow Elementary School, Idaho Falls: $9,987.07, to create a Makers Space for STEM at the school.

Classroom Makeover Grant recipients are:

Jared Gee, Sugar-Salem High School: $4,949.57, to re-image the Sugar-Salem High School science lab for chemistry and biology.

Troy Easterday, Castleford School District 417: $5,000, to purchase materials to teach energy efficiency in rural towns.

Heidi McJunkin, Snake River Montessori School: $1,046, to purchase a classroom set of computer coding curriculum.

Leslie Woodford, Pocatello Valley Montessori School: $1,000, to purchase a classroom set of complex math manipulatives to teach STEM.

"Getting students excited about STEM is critical to the future of INL, Idaho and the nation as a whole," said Anne Seifert, INL's manager of K-12 STEM outreach. "Today's students are tomorrow's scientists, engineers and technicians. Grants like these provide our teachers with the tools and resources they need to educate, prepare and spark student interest in STEM careers, and give them hands-on experience in STEM subjects that spark their passion for STEM that can drive innovation."

The Ultimate STEM grants, Extreme Classroom Makeover grants and STEM Mini grants are part of INL's effort to boost STEM education in Idaho. Funding for the grants comes from Battelle Energy Alliance, a nonprofit organization that operates the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

This year's STEM Mini Grant recipients are:

Idaho Falls/eastern Idaho
Nathasia Christensen of Temple View Elementary, Idaho Falls: $274.50 to fund a classroom STEM garden.

Donna McCurdy, Arco Elementary: $444.91 for a classroom set of RAFT kits to teach physics and engineering.

Chris Brown, Parker-Egin Elementary: $500 to fund a family STEM night.

Sheila Jardine, Howe Elementary: $499.93 for coding materials for engineering and design.

Cathy LeDosquet, Teton Elementary: $500 for a classroom set of bins with math and engineering materials.

Cinnimon Schwartz, Malad Elementary: $450 for a classroom set of STEM engineering design kits.