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Garrett receives $25K for STEM classes, equipment

A local school will be able to reach new heights thanks to a grant from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology.

At the beginning of December, Garrett Junior High School received a $25,891 Southern Nevada STEM Network grant to purchase portable labs, 3D printers and other equipment for science, technology, engineering and math classes.

“We’re trying to slowly incorporate STEM into our curriculum and master calendar,” said Melanie Teemant, principal.

Currently, the school offers one full-time official science, technology, engineering and math class and Teemant wants to add more electives.

“Ultimately, Garrett will offer more courses that engage students in STEM, building rural students’ confidence in coding, innovation and science,” said Leigh Metcalfe, STEM program manager for the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology. “The goal is to drive student success by ensuring they have more STEM opportunities, are better prepared to take STEM courses in high school and, therefore, more likely to consider STEM careers.”

Teemant said her goal is to offer an introduction to STEM, robotics, coding and programming to all students at Garrett.

“Each one will be a quarter long and all sixth graders will take it during the school year. … The whole point of this is getting them experiences and seeing if they want these opportunities in their future,” she said.

With the grant money, Teemant said the school will be purchasing Labdiscs, portable labs that will help the classes grow.

“They can take it anywhere out in the field. … We will be able to do experiments and get a lot of data without a lot of equipment,” she said.

Additionally, the school is purchasing all-in-one touch displays and three 3D printers.

Teemant said they are going to partner with different companies for STEM kits for the printers. Those kits will allow students to design, build, analyze the results and then apply them and revise their designs.

The new equipment will also be available for other classes at Garrett to use.

Teemant said she wants to add STEM classes, get a full-time teacher dedicated to the program and become a Distinguished STEM Academy. She also said she will keep applying for grants to help make that happen.

According to Metcalfe, the purpose of this grant is to support and fund initiatives to make sure Southern Nevada has an educated, skilled and diverse workforce that meets the needs of STEM employers in the region.

The budget for the three regions in Nevada was $50,000 each. Garrett was one of three grant recipients in Southern Nevada.

Teemant said she plans to order the new equipment after the Clark County School District Board of Trustees accepts the grant at a meeting in January.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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