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Harvest Ridge Elementary receives $25,000 STEM grant

Harvest Ridge students participate in a STEM activity [FHSD photo]

Harvest Ridge Elementary has been selected to receive a $25,000 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Bayer Fund. The grant is intended to increase engagement, accessibility and achievement in science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] fields.

“We wanted to increase student access to STEM materials in order to support the district math, science, and technology curriculum,” Dr. Angeline O’Neal-Hogrefe, assistant principal, said. “The funds provided by the Bayer grant will provide teacher training that allows for engaging hands-on lessons with interesting materials. We often get requests from families, students, and staff to include more STEM in kids’ daily lessons, and we are excited that we will now be able to provide those activities on a daily basis.”

The grant money will be used to purchase STEM materials for Harvest Ridge students including CUE coding robots, Piper computer kits, mobile maker space workstations and a 3D printer. Classroom math materials will include math centers and a math bundle for all classrooms, kindergrten through grade five. The grant also will pay for hundreds of new math books and math manipulatives.

“There are more and more unfilled STEM related jobs in the United States,” said

, Beyer community outreach manager. “Technology is ever-changing, and ever-changing in the agricultural industry as well. So we’re really trying to get resources into the classroom to get hands-on opportunities for students to better prepare them for these types of fields.”

Harvest Ridge was nominated by local farmers to receive the grant. After the application was submitted, it was reviewed first by STEM teachers, then by the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Farmer Advisory Council, a group consisting of prominent farmers from across the country. The Advisory Council was impressed with the dedication for the Harvest Ridge staff and their innovative ideas for improving educational experiences for students.

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