Grants Help School District Expand S.T.E.M. Courses


With funding from several grants, schools in Marshall County are starting to the lead the Mountain State when it comes to an education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

When it comes to teaching students how to excel in a world that is ruled by technology, students and faculty in Marshall County are focused on the future, “Engineering is just where the future is going,” said John Marshall High School Principal, Cassie Porter.

Just Tuesday morning it was announced that John Marshall High, Washington Lands Elementary, and Center McMechen Elementary Schools had all been awarded grant money from Chevron and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation totaling over $14,000 to continue to prepare students for the jobs of the future, “I tell my students when we start out at the beginning of the year, ‘I’m training you for a job that doesn’t even exist yet, so I have got to make sure that you have a complete wealth of knowledge,” said fourth-grade teacher, Brooke Lightner.

In the last several months Marshall County has been awarded over $300,000 to continue expanding their education in the fields of S.T.E.M., including this cool virtual reality lab, which brings the pages of their textbooks or iPads to life, giving them a hands-on learning experience.  In Marshall County this kind of education starts in Kindergarten, “My students, personally used a program called ‘Makey Makey’, it’s a little gadget that you hook up to a computer and I gave them, maybe a 20 minute, because that’s all I really knew. What I showed them is what I knew, by the end of the day I was looking at them going ‘Show me how you did that’,” said second-grade teacher, Julie Sturgill.

On Monday, John Marshall High School also learned they will receive another $25,000 from the West Virginia State Department and June Harless Grant fund.

It’s not a cheap curriculum to provide, but schools here in Marshall County are starting to lead the Mountain State when it comes to preparing their students for the jobs of the future, “I have a passion for this, we have worked very hard on this in the last few years to get S.T.E.M. up and running and continue to flourish in all our schools and now we have our elementary, middle and high schools, in Marshall County, working on the S.T.E.M. initiative, so yes I am super excited about this,” Porter said.

With the construction of a new fabrication lab, at John Marshall High School, students can expect to start excelling in those classes starting the first day of the 2017-2018 school year. 

Other school districts in our area that have been granted the Chevron and Benedum Foundation Award include Brooke and Hancock Counties. 

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