The Foundation is focused on innovative ideas for STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). In 2015, the Foundation funded the following grants:
$5,775 to eight teachers for “Robots on the Move,” a project designed to provide students at all three middle schools (Berry, Bumpus, and Simmons) the opportunity to acquire STEM skills via collaborative hands-on, project-based investigations. This project encourages collaboration between the schools with their middle school computer science curriculum and helps stimulate critical thinking and scientific reasoning among the students.
$1,937 to four teachers at Riverchase Elementary School for early elementary robotics programming. “Bee a Tech Learner” allows students to explore electricity, and give them the opportunity to build words, use tangrams, and do problem solving activities. It increases student knowledge of robotics and critical thinking skills with an emphasis on problem solving.
$1,238 to seven teachers at Riverchase Elementary School for “Derbying for Data,” which uses pinewood derby cars to teach students about math, science, and data collection. Students investigate the effect that weight, air resistance and friction have on the motion of an object, examine cause and effect relationships, and learn problem solving skills.
$1,970 to a group of eight teachers at South Shades Crest Elementary School for a project which uses Legos to deepen students’ understanding of multiplication and fractions. It strengthens and encourages the use of physical representations to better understand these concepts, in addition to alleviating math anxiety.
$1,287 to five teachers for a project which encourages collaboration between Spain Park Engineering and Computer Science students and fifth graders at Rocky Ridge Elementary School. The fifth graders use robotics to become more engaged with engineering, programming and problem solving. The high school students gain and improve on their communication and application skills while working with the younger students.