by Scott McClallen
Sixteen Michigan schools have been awarded $205,028 to develop Great Lakes-based science, technology, engineering, and math – STEM – programs.
“These grants will support freshwater literacy programs and offer students access to real world STEM experiences,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Our Great Lakes are our greatest asset, and we must empower young Michiganders to learn more about them and continue advancing conservation efforts. Michigan’s economic competitiveness depends on a workforce proficient in STEM and committed to solving our biggest challenges. Investments like these will help prepare our kids to lead our state into the future.”
Grant proposals were submitted and reviewed through a competitive process. Selected projects study freshwater conservation and real-world experiences.
Grant awardees and amount are as follows:
- Alcona Community Schools: $6,892 to expand 3-P learning by studying coastal and wetland habitats.
- Alpena Public Schools: $8,078 so students can work as scientific researchers collecting data and making observations to determine if environmental issues are impacting the Thunder Bay River Watershed.
- Avron Township School: $5,000 to adopt two beaches so it can participate in science lessons.
- Atherton Community Schools: $10,000 to engage 195 middle and high school science students in 3-P learning through its “Health in Our Hands” curriculum.
- Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District: $20,000 for 3-P learning to support teachers.
- Farmington Public Schools: $15,870 to incorporate “student voice” in water steward topics and activate 3-P teaching
- Forest Hills Central Woodlands ⅚ School: $20,000 to provide 3-P learning students, including transportation for all students to visit the Inland Seas Schooner and engage in the remotely operated vehicle program through Inland Seas Education Association.
- Grand Rapids Montessori, Grand Rapids Public Schools: $8,862 to help students identify and solve habitat loss for local pollinators, bird and turtle species through a partnership with the John Ball Zoo.
- Harrington Elementary School: $12,000 for Marshall Public Schools to partner with Albion College to develop “outdoors at school” curricula for grades K-5.
- Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency: $20,000 to support Southwest MiSTEM and the Kalamazoo Nature Center to establish a Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative hub to continue water stewardship education programs.
- Mt. Morris Consolidated Schools: $15,000 to participate in the Flint River Green project, where students learn about the Flint River Watershed and its community impact.
- Muskegon Area Intermediate School District: $15,000 to expand 3-P learning for 420 fourth grade students and 3-P training for 19 fourth grade teachers.
- Pickfield Public Schools: $9,996 so students can gather water quality data from the local watershed.
- Stanton Township Public Schools: $5,000 to train new teachers to carry out future Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative activities.
- Washtenaw Intermediate School District: $20,000 to build a foundation for cross-district collaboration in support of freshwater-focused place-based education.
- Wayne-Westland Community Schools: $13,330 to activate a 3-P learning program.
The grants continue the 2020 From Students to Stewards Initiative and the 2021 MiSTEM Transformative Playbook grants.
The Great Lakes account for over 20% of the world’s surface freshwater.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.