The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, Dominion East Ohio's parent company, is awarding $100,000 in K-12 Educational Partnership Grants to 15 Ohio schools for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Individual grants range from $400 to $10,000, to help fund projects related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). "We encourage projects that invoke critical thinking and relevant learning," said Scott Miller, Dominion East Ohio Vice President and General Manager. "Ohio students must be prepared to meet the challenges ahead, particularly in the fields of science and energy."
Ohio grant winners include:
- Akron Public Schools received $10,000 for its "Closing the Achievement Gap Summer Transition Program" at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The program is designed to support at-risk students prior to entering 9th grade. Students will attend a day camp at the national park, where project-based learning activities will focus on human impact on the Cuyahoga River watershed.
- Friends of Metro Parks (Summit County) received $10,000 to implement its "Outside Is In" program, targeting Akron Public School 6th grade students. The program will introduce urban youth to the outdoors and present environmental science concepts in a fun, interesting and hands-on experience.
- Akron Public Schools National Inventors Hall of Fame School Center for STEM Learning received $10,000 for "Biomimicry Education: Nature Inspired STEM Teaching and Learning" project. The program will focus on building a replicable, environment-based teacher professional and curriculum development process to enrich science education for middle school students.
- Shaker Lakes Regional Nature Center in Cleveland received $10,000 to implement an environmental education program entitled "ASK! (Applied Science for Kids). The nature center will collaborate with Cleveland Metropolitan School District, in an effort to reach nearly 7,600 young children and their teachers, and enhance their knowledge of the environment through a series of indoor & outdoor activities.
- The Cleveland Museum of Natural History received $10,000 to support the second year of "Inspire: Reach Every Child" program, a collaborative effort with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Inspire will engage every second grade student in a unique science learning experience to transform science education in the public schools.
- University Settlement, Inc., Cleveland, received $10,000 for its "Green STEM Program," which is part of the Out-of-School Time programs. The program will provide these students the opportunity to improve academic achievement and increase interest and exposure to the environment and STEM.
- Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, received $9,000 for the purchase of an aquaponic system to enhance science and math education for high school and elementary school students. High school biology students will be responsible for the design, monitoring and care of the system. Newly designed math and science lesson plans will also be shared with educators from other school districts via website.
- Boy Scouts of America's Great Trail Council, Akron, received $6,000 to assist with the Engineering Merit Badge program, which will be taught to scouts at Camp Manatoc. The camp will also partner with the Ohio natural gas and oil industry, to provide this career-based education program to youth in 5th through 12th grades.
- Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron received $6,000 to provide a science-based curriculum, developed with Akron Public Schools, that provides on-site, experiential STEM learning opportunities for 4th and 5th grade students.
- Our Lady of the Lake School in Euclid $5,000 for its "The Canary in the Coalmine – Lake Erie and the Common Core" program. This program will provide students an opportunity to explore the environment of the Lake Erie shoreline. Students will focus on learning about algae blooms, toxins that affect drinking water, and the invasive species that threaten the health of Lake Erie.
- Woodridge Local Schools in Peninsula received $4,900 to allow high school students the chance to explore alternative and renewable energy technologies (solar, wind, fuel cells) through hands-on projects. Students will learn how each of these forms of energy are developed and applied in the environment.
- Ely Chapman Education Foundation in Marietta received $4,000 for its "Sustainable Energy for Every Kid (S.E.E.K.) education program. In an after-school program, students in grades K through 8 will participate in hands-on activities, ranging from basic energy concepts to sustainable energy, to help promote environmental stewardship.
- Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights received $3,800 to support the "Sun Charger Design-Build-Learn" project. Students will learn about energy production and use by building a solar-powered recharging station in the school's central atrium. Teachers also will develop a supporting curriculum on energy, electricity and climate change.
- New Philadelphia City Schools received $900 to purchase Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 kits, which would be used to engage students in grades 3 through 5 in STEM inquiry activities that will develop major engineering and robotic concepts.
- Elida Middle School in Allen County received $400 to implement "Hands-On Geometry." The program will allow 6th graders to enhance math skills through lessons focusing on multiplying and dividing fractions. The program also will help students build on quantitative reasoning skills.
The grants are part of nearly $1.4 million given to schools in states where Dominion does business, including Ohio, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.