A few months before this last summer break, we were able to give a total of $48,000 to 11 schools in Gwinnett County for various projects in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics—STEAM.
The money, part of our commitment to support childhood education in the communities we serve, comes from our pledge to give back $5 for each Gwinnet County customer we have. It’s something we do each year. And now that classes are back in, we’re eager to hear about all of these great projects.
This week, we talked to Sheila H., the STEAM coordinator at Coleman Middle School. We gave the school $7,542 last school year, and they were able to buy several large tool chests filled with tools and two carts filled with computer coding and electronic supplies—“innovation stations,” as Sheila calls them.
“This has gotten us off to a great start,” she said, explaining that the stations have made it easier for students to bring their project-based learning ideas to life. The kids love that they’re not hindered by a lack of tools or supplies, she said. And the teachers are excited about that, too—maybe even more excited than the kids.
Sheila said the grant money helped the school put together four types of stations: construction, arts and crafts, electronics and computer coding.
So far, some of the students’ projects include making jewelry from old computer parts and creating poetry with Makey Makey electronic invention kits.
And the school, which happens to be the first STEAM-certified middle school in the state, has just finished construction on a bio dome. Sheila said 7th-graders would be using the innovation stations to help plan and build aquaponics and hydroponics systems for the dome later in the year.
“We all believe STEAM and STEM education is a transformative approach to traditional teaching and learning that fosters innovation and creativity in all students,” she said. “We also believe it engages our students and builds skills for their futures.”
At Infinite Energy, we’re proud to help with STEAM projects like these, and we can’t wait to hear more from Coleman Middle School and the other Infinite Energy grant recipients in the weeks and months ahead. Stay tuned!