SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Nearly a dozen school districts in the state, including two in South Mississippi, are sharing $886,000 in grants aimed at creating and growing STEM programs for students in kindergarten through the eighth grade.
The grant is apart of the Mississippi State Board of Education's K-8 STEM Initiative Enhancement Project Grant. The funds will be used for activities and coursework in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math through classroom activities and coursework. It will also help the schools upgrade technology in those areas, as well as benefit teachers by allowing more workforce development.
Three schools from Stone County School District will receive funds. Those schools are Perkinston Elementary School, Stone Elementary School, and Stone Middle School.
School officials with Stone County say a total of $89,449 will be divided among three schools in the district. Both Perkinston and Stone County elementary schools will receive $29,760 each. Stone Middle School will receive $29, 928. District officials say that money has already arrived and is already being spent to order products and schedule professional development training.
"This goes hand-in-hand with a pilot program with the state Computer Science of Mississippi," said Stone County School District's federal programs director Tonya Bolton. "The goal is to have a continuing pathway from K to 12 to prepare students for advanced learning in STEM fields to be college and career ready."
Reeves Elementary in Long Beach School District will also receive funds from the grant. It's unclear at this time how much money will go to Long Beach's district.
Priority was given to schools implementing engineering, computer science, robotics, and other project-based STEM activities to expand the current Mississippi College and Career Readiness standards for math and/or science K-8.
"These dollars will help schools get students interested in the STEM field at an earlier age. This will allow us to expand opportunities for students at the high school level to be ready to enter STEM-related fields either in college or in the workplace," said Jean Massey, executive director of secondary education.
Other districts throughout the state who will share in this grant money include:
Mississippi's districts and schools selected, by competitive request for application, to receive the grant include:
- Booneville School District – Booneville Middle School
- Cleveland School District – BL Bell Academy, DM Smith Elementary School, Hayes Cooper Center, and Pearman Elementary School
- Columbia School District – Columbia Elementary School, Columbia Primary School, and Jefferson Middle School
- Corinth School District – Corinth Elementary School
- DeSoto County School District – Horn Lake Middle School
- Lauderdale County Schools – Clarkdale Elementary School, Northeast Lauderdale Elementary, Southeast Lauderdale Elementary, and West Lauderdale Elementary School
- Natchez-Adams School District – McLaurin Elementary School, Susie B. West Elementary School, Frazier Elementary School, and Robert Lewis Magnet School
- Neshoba County School District – Neshoba Central Elementary School
- Rankin County School District – Florence Middle School, Highland Bluff Elementary School, Northshore Elementary School, and Northwest Rankin Middle School
- Stone County School District –
- Water Valley School District – Davidson Elementary School
- Wayne County School District – Beat Four School and Waynesboro Riverview School