Lincoln Center is one of 15 schools statewide to receive an inaugural grant from Washington STEM, a new non-profit organization that is looking to pool resources for education funding in a tough economy.
Washington STEM recently invested $10,000 into Lincoln Center at Lincoln High School to jumpstart a new Science and Engineering Club for students.
Science teacher Lee Ann Love applied for the grant funding as a way to offer increased science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curricula to her students. The money will be used to fund a four-day a week club open to all students, which will increase exposure to the fields as well as connect students with career opportunities.
Lincoln Center’s extended day model offers club options daily, but most are available just one day a week.
“We have been looking to add more academic rigorous clubs at Lincoln Center,” Love said.
The first round of STEM grantees represent leading edge ideas in Washington education, according to Dean Allen, Washington STEM board president.
“We chose Lincoln Center as one of the first grantees because we thought of the early success of Lincoln Center, and we wanted to be able to add to that. We want to invest in programs that are making a difference already.”
The new STEM club at Lincoln Center started two weeks ago and is open to freshmen through juniors.
Love noted so far about 20 students have come on a regular basis, most of them sophomores.
“We’re really lucky to get this grant, “ said student London Hughes, an aspiring nurse. “We have a lot of students at Lincoln Center who are interested in science and engineering. And it gives us a good reputation, too. With Lincoln Center, and now STEM, people will know Lincoln’s doing good.”
The $10,000 grant is a one-time “entrepreneurial” grant, which emphasizes helping promising programs, like Lincoln Center, further develop. In the future, the STEM club could be eligible for even larger grants if their STEM curriculum continues to grow and prosper.
“I’m really looking forward to learning new things…I learned so much the first day alone,” Lincoln Center student Naaujan Knight said.
Plans for the STEM club include additional supplies for in-class labs and projects, and field trips to sites such as the University of Washington Lab, and Bonneville Power Administration’s high-voltage lab in Portland.
The club will also foster internship connections for the students with various organizations within STEM fields.
So far, Washington STEM has been funded through private organizations such as Microsoft, Boeing and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Washington STEM aims to raise $100 million over the next 10 years to increase the quality of STEM education throughout the state, particularly for students who have been historically underserved. Find out more about Washington STEM at www.washingtonstem.org.