Representatives with the John Deere Inspire Program awarded $55,000 in grant funding to four Aiken County schools Thursday.
Funds in the amounts of $20,000 will go to North Augusta Middle School and Paul Knox Middle School, which will implement the Project Lead the Way Gateway program for the 2017-18 school year. Grants of $7,500 each will go to North Augusta Elementary School and Hammond Hill Elementary School, which will implement the PLTW Launch program for the 2017-18 school year.
"We are thankful to John Deere Corporation for this grant," said Kyle Smith, principal of Paul Knox Middle. "These monies will provide additional opportunities to train our teachers and assist our students in STEM-related classes which directly focus on creativity, problem solving and hands-on real world issues."
Project Lead the Way provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. by creating engaging, hands-on classroom environments and empowering students to develop the in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive.
The John Deere Inspire Program supports schools located within a 40-mile radius of a John Deere production facility. The facilities also look to implement PLTW programs.
"North Augusta Middle School is excited to provide our students with the opportunity to explore the field of computer science thanks to the John Deere grant and Project Lead the Way," said Phyllis Gamble, principal of North Augusta Middle School. "This opportunity will address the interests many of our students have in technology careers while also providing a smooth transition for participation in computer science class at the high school level."
John Deere Inspire strives to increase the number of talented young women and men from diverse backgrounds who pursue STEM-related education and careers, particularly for careers in engineering and computers.
Grant funds will pay for PLTW participation fees, core training and related expenses, required computers and required equipment and supplies.
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