Getting the Ultimate Grant

INL STEM monies help support local schools

Published online: Apr 17, 2017 Articles, East Idaho Business
Viewed 1157 time(s)

Video by Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District in Brecksville, Ohio.

Two east Idaho schools have been awarded an Ultimate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) grant, worth up to $10,000, to enhance and supplement their STEM learning courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory. In addition, four Extreme Classroom Makeover grants worth up to $5,000 were awarded in southeast Idaho. Statewide, 19 STEM Mini grants worth up to $500 were awarded.

Teachers and principals from public and private schools throughout the state apply each year for INL STEM grants, which are awarded based on the educator’s plan, idea or classroom needs to bolster STEM education. The money can be used to purchase equipment and materials for classrooms.

“Too often, educators and administrators are not aware of the funding opportunities available in their own backyard,” said Amy Lientz, INL’s director of Partnerships, Engagement and Technology Deployment. “This type of funding allows for furthering student interest in STEM careers and helps to grow our talent pipeline, enabling a sustainable future workforce.”

Ultimate STEM Grant recipients are:

1.    Chase Crook from Rigby Middle school, $10,000, will use the money to purchase life science materials for the classroom. 

2.    Kristoffer Smith from Longfellow Elementary School, $9,987.07, will use the money to create a Makers Space for STEM at the school.

Classroom Makeover Grant recipients are:

  1. Jared Gee from Sugar-Salem High School, $4,949.57, will use the money to reimage the Sugar-Salem High School science lab for chemistry and biology.
  2. Troy Easterday from Castleford School District 417, $5,000, will use the money to purchase materials to teach energy efficiency in rural towns.
  3. Heidi McJunkin from Snake River Montessori School, $1,046, will use the money to purchase a classroom set of computer coding curriculum. 
  4. Leslie Woodford from Pocatello Valley Montessori School, $1,000, will use the money to purchase a classroom set of complex math manipulatives to teach STEM.

"Getting students excited about STEM is critical to the future of INL, Idaho and the nation as a whole," said Anne Seifert, INL's manager of K-12 STEM outreach. "Today's students are tomorrow's scientists, engineers and technicians. Grants like these provide our teachers with the tools and resources they need to educate, prepare and spark student interest in STEM careers, and give them hands-on experience in STEM subjects that spark their passion for STEM that can drive innovation."

The Ultimate STEM grants, Extreme Classroom Makeover grants and STEM Mini grants are part of INL's effort to boost STEM education in Idaho. Funding for the grants comes from Battelle Energy Alliance, a nonprofit organization that operates the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).


This year's STEM Mini Grant recipients are:

Idaho Falls/eastern Idaho

Nathasia Christensen of Temple View Elementary in Idaho Falls received $274.50 to fund a classroom STEM garden.

Donna McCurdy of Arco Elementary received $444.91 for a classroom set of RAFT kits to teach physics and engineering.

Chris Brown of Parker-Egin Elementary in Parker received $500 to fund a family STEM night.

Sheila Jardine of Howe Elementary received $499.93 for coding materials for engineering and design.

Cathy LeDosquet of Teton Elementary received $500 for a classroom set of bins with math and engineering materials.

Cinnimon Schwartz of Malad Elementary received $450 for a classroom set of STEM engineering design kits.


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