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Linn-Benton STEM programs get grants

Linn-Benton STEM programs get grants


The Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub recently awarded $78,019 in educator and community-based organizations microgrants.

“With ample evidence that COVID-19 is widening the existing systemic education and inequality gaps, our aim is to partner with educators and local nonprofits to develop projects that reduce barriers and support students,” said Director Sarah Whiteside. “Through this support, students will gain more access to meaningful science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and career and technical education (CTE) opportunities.”

The microgrants are provided by the Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub with funding and support from the Oregon Department of Education, Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation and John and Ginger Niemeyer Foundation.

The hub partners with local schools, businesses, and nonprofits to expand STEM and CTE opportunities for all students from preschool through college in Linn and Benton counties.

The second round of microgrants is now open, with an application deadline of Feb. 26.

To learn more, visit

Grants were made to assist a variety of programs, ranging from culinary kits for students at Kings Valley Charter School to digital photography textbooks at South Albany High School and pre-college programs for talented and gifted students in Corvallis.

A complete list of grant recipients is included with this story online.

Microgrants totally $19,940 were awarded to the following educators:

● Culinary Kits – Diana Barnhart, Kings Valley Charter School; to purchase Culinary Tool Kits that contain all the ingredients and supplies needed to complete projects.

● Citizen Science Project – Kate Beran, College Hill High School; to purchase the materials for students to build their own air quality sensors to measure particulate matter.

● STEM Projects – Danielle Blackwell, Scio High School; to purchase supplies to do hands-on STEM projects in the Patterns physics, chemistry, and biology classes.

● Shop Tools – David Crowe, Alsea Middle/High School; to purchase simple hand tools (measuring tapes, hammers, etc…) for CTE shop classes.

● Broadcast Media Project – David Dunham, Philomath High School; to purchase camcorders for the Philomath High School Broadcast Media program.

● Digital Media Kits – Jayce Giddens, Corvallis High School; to purchase supplies so students can check out gear to complete photo, video, illustrations, animations, and other digital art and media projects.

● Art & Pottery Supplies – Babette Grunwald, West Albany High School; to purchase art kits and pottery kits for all students.

● Nightstand Project – Ricky Hall, West Albany High School; to purchase supplies for advanced students to build a nightstand.

● Tower Garden – Jessica Hanson, Philomath High School; to purchase a Tower Garden growing system to grow their own produce year-round, and to then use the produce for cooking in culinary labs, as well as healthy snacks for the Little Warrior Preschool.

● STEAM Thinkers – Lisa Lanza, Baker Charter Schools; to provide a stipend to Isaac Ashby of STEAM Thinkers to provide hands-on Virtual STEAM days for students.

● Manley Jobs – Blake Manley, Sweet Home High School; to pay for expenses and supplies associated with the production of Manley Jobs YouTube videos.

● Digital Photography Textbooks – Amanda Miles, South Albany High School; to purchase 35 textbooks for a CTE Digital Photography course.

● LEGO Robotics – Inger-Lis Nielsen, Kings Valley Charter School; to purchase supplies for a remote LEGO robotics club.

● Do It For The Culture T-Shirt Project – Duece Phaly, South Albany High School; to purchase materials for the Do It For the Culture club to create gear and apparel to help students feel more represented.

● STEAM Kits – Audrey Richards, Sand Ridge Charter School; to purchase materials for creating STEAM kits for their classrooms.

● Health Occupations Class – Michelle Snyder, Sweet Home High School; to purchase more suturing, phlebotomy, respiratory therapy equipment for health occupations classes.

● Student Eco & Aqua Spheres – Cheri Taylor, College Hill High School; to purchase 21 USB handheld microscopes for student eco and aqua sphere projects.

● Woodworking Kits – Pamela Toman, Baker Web Academy; for the purchase of 15 Young Woodworkers Project Kits.

● Prototype Manufacturing Projects – Nick Traini, Philomath High School; for the purchase of construction project supplies for manufacturing technology students.

● Live Cooking Demos – Dolly Victorine, West Albany High School; to purchase A/V equipment for streaming live cooking demos.

● STEM Projects – Pamela Watts, Scio High School; to purchase equipment to accompany Patterns curricula.

● 3D Printing – Rob Zarfas, Philomath Academy; to purchase a 3D printer.

Microgrants totally $58,079 were awarded to the following community-based organizations:

● Carving Instructional Workshops – Albany Historic Carousel & Museum, Albany; to purchase carving tools teaching students how to carve the carousel animals.

● Albany Exploration Zone – Albany Parks & Recreation Department, Albany; to purchase supplies for after-school STEM programming for youth Pre-K through 8th grade.

● Maker Program – Albany Public Library, Albany; to purchase tablets for maker programs for kids, tweens, and teens.

● Pivot Interactive Science Program – Albany Public School Foundation, Albany; to purchase a district-wide site license for Pivot Interactive software to enhance STEM hands-on experiences during distance learning.

● Distance Learning Support for Students – Albany Public School Foundation, Albany; in partnership with the Greater Albany Public School (GAPS) District and Families and

Communities Together (FACT), this grant will provide low-income students with STEM and technical resources to support distance learning.

● Hot Rod Kids – Better Kids Club, Albany; to support the launch of a pilot project that will teach kids mechanical skills from building go-karts and maintenance, but also skills of safety, driving, and racing.

● Watershed Discovery Kits – Calapooia Watershed Council, Brownsville; to purchase supplies for creating Watershed Discover Kits for 700 5th grade students in Central Linn and Greater Albany Public School districts.

● DSW in a Box Kits – Discovering the Scientist Within (DSW), Corvallis; to purchase 84 “DSW in a Box” kits to be mailed to participating girls, hence increasing access and program participation.

● Growing Leaders Early Learning Center – Mid-Willamette YMCA, Albany; to purchase supplies and activities to provide STEM programmatic experiences and learning opportunities for Pre-K students.

● Winter Wonderings – OSU Pre-college Programs, Corvallis; to purchase supplies and provide scholarships for the Tag Learners Winter Wonderings project.

● FIRST Robotics Competition team – Scalawags, FIRST Robotics Team 1359, Lebanon; to support the team as they work on their FIRST Robotics Competition team challenge.

● Maker Tool Lending Library – Silicon Box, Inc., Corvallis; to purchase supplies for a maker tool library to make STEAM kits available to families that are underserved.

● STEM Academy at OSU, Corvallis; to provide program support for Virtual STEM Academy activities.


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