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The Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation has announced $2.1 million in grants to public schools in seven Northern New Mexico counties to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The educational area, known as STEM, promotes teacher training, curriculum development, technology in the classroom and support to students in preparation for STEM careers.
The Foundation Educational Enrichment grants are awarded to school districts based on the percentage of laboratory and contractor employees living within the school districts in Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Taos, San Miguel, Sandoval and Mora counties.
Susan Herrera, foundation chief executive officer, said, “When you walk into the classroom where fourth graders are wiring up electrical circuits you can see that spark go off and you know they can be our scientists, physicians and other professionals of tomorrow. This is why our foundation was started: to invest in Northern New Mexico’s human potential.”
2012 grants are:
• Espanola Public Schools: $863,605 to improve technology, provide Inquiry Science Kits to students district-wide, help math teachers with professional development and to employ an instructional technologist and also a science literacy coach.
• Santa Fe Public Schools: $705,590 to expand a science based teaching system to Agua Fria, Kearny and Nava elementary schools. SFPS will be able to increase the number of students in the Science Based Inquiry Initiative to 3,200, the number of science trained teachers to 130 and support a science learning coordinator for each school.
• Pojoaque Valley Schools: $243,151 to start digital distance learning. Two high school classrooms will be remodeled to interact with schools throughout the United States. Pojoaque will also continue its Inquiry Based Science Program in grades 1-8.
• Jemez Valley Public Schools: $81,910 to hire a part-time systems manager to oversee technology for teaching and assessing in grades K-12, for employee training and for STEM supplies. The grant is expected to benefit 350 students, 34 teachers and four administrators.
• Rio Rancho Public Schools: $66,431 to provide science fair skills for in grades 6-12 through the district’s program. Rio Rancho will also get additional Inquiry Science Kits.
• Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools: $36,763 for Inquiry Science Kits for K-6 students at Ojo Caliente and El Rito elementary schools and to hire a science learning coordinator.
Penasco Independent Schools: $22,574 to use a science tutor for 219 students and 13 teachers in grades K-6.
• Jemez Mountain Schools: $22,574 to begin a digital program that provides students laptops instead of textbooks and for teachers and parents to be able to track student performance online.
• Taos Municipal School District: $18,704 for the Taos Cyber Magnet School, which teaches 25 at-risk students.
• Bernalillo Public Schools: $16,349 to develop minority girls’ science and math skills in grades 7-8 under a program called “STEM Sisters” Bernalillo Public Schools and $3,000 for an elementary robotics program to develop science skills.
• Chama Valley Independent School District: $5,805 to expand on-line courses.
• Las Vegas City Schools: $5,160 to study bio-science.
Bernalillo Public Schools: $3,000 for an elementary robotics program to develop science skills.
• West Las Vegas Schools: $2,580 for 140 students and three teachers to study landscape design.
Since 1998, the LANL Foundation has given more than $29 million to school districts to improve education.