LEONARDTOWN, Md. (July 27, 2009)—St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) has been awarded a competitive Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) grant in the amount of $100,000. Over the past four years, SMCPS has received a total of $595,000 from the State of Maryland in grant funding to support the STEM program. This financial support has helped the school system to fulfill its mission of establishing a grades 4-12 STEM pipeline to prepare STEM-literate graduates to meet the county's workforce needs.
This year's grant will focus on four major areas including materials and equipment support, the "STEM for ALL" initiative, an online Spanish I course, and engineering challenges.
As the STEM Academy is expanded into grades 8 and 11, this grant will provide funding for SMART technology materials, instructional activity kits, and portable tool carts. The elementary "STEM for ALL" portion of the grant will provide all elementary schools with LEGO Robotics Kits and the resources necessary to offer all interested students a chance to participate on a robotics team at their school. Additionally, an engineering challenge will be designed integrating concepts from the science and mathematics curriculum for third grade students.
At the middle school level, STEM 8 students will take an online Spanish 1 course from the MSDE sponsored Maryland Virtual Learning Opportunities (MVLO) program.
For the STEM 10 engineering course, funds will be used to allow students to participate and compete in the Team America Rocketry Challenge and the Botball Educational Robotics program.
Source: St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS)