2018-03-12 / Local News

Alma receives STEAM grant

Ledger Staff Writer

Alma Elementary will use robots and computer coding to help kindergarten students turn on the STEAM from an early age.

STEAM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

Alma is one of four schools awarded a $4,000 grant from South Carolina STEM Centers. One school from each of the state’s four regions received a grant to help students develop their science, math, and technology skills.

Alma Elementary will receive a maximum of $2,500 for classroom materials. In addition to the monetary award, schools receive eight hours of onsite STEAM-focused professional development valued at $1,500.

Grant funds for the project will purchase a classroom pack of six Wonder Workshop Dash and Dot Robots, box sets of challenge cards, a curriculum guide and one lesson library subscription.

The program is designed to help 4-year-old kindergarten students learn basic computer skills through the coding process, said Alma Elementary reading interventionist Mary Kaye Hannon, who helped write the grant.

“Through the robots, Dash and Dot, students will learn the art of programming and computer coding while building curiosity and confidence,” Hannon said. “Our fourth and fifth grade students will help our 4K students with the coding. It is based on color recognition.”

Alma Elementary has used federal Title-1 funds for the past four years towards projects designed to help students develop their skills in math, science, engineering and technology, Camp said. Title-1 is a federal program which provides schools in high poverty areas with additional funding for academic enrichment for students.

“We are very excited. The grants were awarded in celebration of 25 years of supporting STEM education in South Carolina,” Camp said. “The grants are designed to support the development of new projects that enhance STEAM education as related to the Profile of the South Carolina graduate.”

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