Two teams will receive a combined total of $11,800 in grants from Washington
BATTLE GROUND — CAM Academy, Daybreak Middle, and Tukes Valley Middle schools in the Battle Ground district are set to receive a combined total of $11,800 in grants from the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). All the funding is allocated for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) projects that will enable students to work together while developing critical thinking skills.
The STEM projects students will work on are part of FIRST Washington, a nonprofit organization whose mission is inspiring kids ages 6-18 through science, technology, and teamwork. Using competitive robotics as a learning platform, kids experience the thrill and excitement of playing a sport while developing skills needed to become part of the future high-tech workforce.
CAM Academy will receive two grants totaling $9,200 for the school’s robotics program, where students design, build, and program a robot to compete in FIRST Robotics challenges. Daybreak and Tukes Valley Middle schools will each receive a $1,300 grant for FIRST LEGO League competitions, where teams use EV3 LEGO kits to solve HydroDynamics challenges in front of a panel of judges. In one challenge, for example, students design LEGO solutions that improve the ways people transport water.
“It is truly an honor to receive grants that help to support our students in robotics,” said CAM Academy Principal Ryan Cowl. “Without the grants, there is a huge expense in registrations and parts that puts a lot of burden on families and teams to fundraise on their own. We appreciate OSPI supporting us to help make these experiences possible for our students.”
Technology teacher Sherry Lilly said the OSPI grants make it possible to have an after-school robotics program at Tukes Valley, and that the club is an ideal place for students to learn leadership skills while working as a team.
“Learning through robotics helps demystify a complex technology through creative problem solving,” Lilly said. “Students learn a step-by-step engineering mindset and solid programming skills, which helps them feel comfortable in further exploring technology, engineering, and computer science.”
Students who participate in the FIRST competitions apply a wide range of academic concepts along the way, including physics, computer science and technology, business, arts, and social science. The bottom line is that students in these programs build their knowledge and enthusiasm across a variety of academic subjects while mimicking real-world job experiences.
Information provided by Battle Ground School District.