Beacon Hill schools to benefit from STEM grants

Photo by dpham194 via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Two Beacon Hill schools will benefit from investment grants recently-awarded by Washington STEM, a non-profit group dedicated to improving education in the “STEM” fields: science, technology, engineering, and math. The grants are of two types: Entrepreneur Award grants, one-year investments to support “breakthrough ideas and promising approaches in STEM education”; and Portfolio Awards for multi-year projects. The Beacon Hill grants are both Entrepreneur Awards.

The Cleveland High School grant of $10,000 is for a project, “Who Has the Right to Clean Water?”:

“Through the lens of social justice, science, and social studies, teachers will design an engaging unit of study in which students will investigate the essential question ‘who has the right to clean water?’ Bolstering the global nature of this question, Cleveland students will use internet technology to partner with students in Taita, a poor, rural area of Kenya. Students on both continents will conduct similar investigations and share data for comparison and analysis. In science, students will test water chemistry, explore their personal water footprint, and investigate engineering designs for water purification. Concurrently, in social studies students will explore social, geographical, and historical causes of unequal access to clean water and the impact that our daily decisions have on our environment. Students will ultimately create a call to action, sharing their findings in a daylong water symposium.”

The second Beacon Hill grant of $20,000 went to the local non-profit group Powerful Schools, for their project, “Building a STEM Community” at Beacon Hill International School:

“Seattle-based nonprofit Powerful Schools is empowering traditionally underserved students to start a community-wide conversation around the power of STEM at Beacon Hill International School, a diverse public elementary school located in south Seattle. In this ‘Curiosity Club,’ fourth and fifth grade student leaders will launch a STEM campaign including development of a mobile ‘lab’ to share hands-on STEM experiments school-wide. Powerful Schools will also commission a local artist to work with students to create materials that summarize their findings and encourage non-English speaking families to discover STEM at home.”

A full list of Washington STEM investments may be found at their website.