The West Virginia Governor’s Office and the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, recently approved Governor’s STEM Initiative mini-grant funding to six Kanawha County schools. The mini-grants program supports learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math across the state. Schools were awarded up to $3,000 to implement their STEM project. The following Kanawha County School projects were funded:
|School||Brief project description|
Alban Elementary 2nd graders will create with technology rather than consume it. The Creativity Challenge introduces a "think, make, improve" philosophy which is important in engineering, science, and all aspects in the workplace. Students will collaborate together, learning the interfacing of how keyboards can be turned into touch pads to creatively produce instrumental sounds into music. They will research recycling, share their findings, create games with recycled materials, and create recycled sculptures. Families will be invited to a Make & Take Open House where they can experience and create, too.
|Elkview Middle School||
VEX Robotics Program
The funding will support the VEX robot team at Elkview Middle and Herbert Hoover High School. Members of the team use competition criteria to design, create and program VEX robots using mechanical, electrical and computer engineering skills. Both schools were affected by flooding and materials that were necessary for the program were lost or destroyed. The funds will be used to rebuild the program.
|George Washington High School||
This two-part project begins with a hands-on introduction to the laws of aeronautics and how forces affect flight. Female students will design airplane wings and test wind tunnels. The second part examines careers in the field. Students will discuss the education and training needed for a career in aeronautical engineering.
Lego Robotics Program
The funding will go to support Holz Elementary’s nine-member robotics teams’ (6 girls/3 boys) participation in the Lego robotics competition. Students demonstrate how to design a robot out of Legos and program the robot to accomplish set goals using a computer program.
Sphero SPRK Robot Program
Using Sphero SPRK robots, Montrose 2nd graders and 5th graders will collaborate to design items to successfully complete STEM challenges, such as creating long jumps, building boats and bridges and creating masterpieces. Students will analyze the use of robotics in everyday life and will use robots yearly throughout the curriculum for all subject areas.
Fourth graders at Ruffner Elementary will participate in an analysis of the work of Rube Goldberg to critically think about how the artist and engineer complicated tasks through creativity. They will collaborate to design a Rube-type invention using art, science and mathematical skills to complicate simple tasks.
“These Governor’s STEM Initiative grants are small, but powerful,” said Dr. Duerring, superintendent, Kanawha County Schools. “These six projects provide real STEM learning to our students in innovative ways that may not be available otherwise.”
The funds were announced in January by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s Office. A total of $200,000 was approved for 84 projects across the state – six within the Kanawha County Schools system. The Governor's STEM Initiative, within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, works to support STEM education opportunities for West Virginia students in order to fuel their interest in STEM professions and increase the number of graduates in these fields.