Graham Local Schools

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Graham Elementary, Middle School Collaboration reaps Battelle STEM Grant

DATE POSTED: September 14, 2017

Graham Elementary and Middle School have been awarded Battelle STEM Grant in the amount of $43,000 for their proposal: GES/GMS Greenhouse Partnership - Pathways to Learning!

This Grant will provide the funding for the construction of a greenhouse between the two buildings. The greenhouse will be supplied with solar power. Initial plans are to develop gardening clubs at both buildings that will produce plants that are then transferred to raised garden beds. Long-term plans are for the greenhouse to be a fully functioning commercial greenhouse that is completely student-led.

At GES/GMS, the outdoor education center has over 40 acres that include various habitat in addition to some farm land that will be used as part of a precision agriculture program, Falcon Farms, to promote Graham STEAM learning over time. Long term plans are to incorporate the Greenhouse into the Outdoor Education Center and provide professional development and learning opportunities for Graham teachers, regional educators, pre-service teachers, and students from around the area.

Nick Guidera, assistant principal at GMS, “This is huge! More classroom extension opportunities to align with our GrahamSTEAM initiatives! This is a great opportunity for our students and our community. We believe in playing to our strengths, and using the farming expertise around us to drive students towards career pathways in precision agriculture and ag-related businesses.”

Chad Miller, elementary principal, “Thank you to Battelle for recognizing the importance of supporting GrahamSTEAM initiatives. We look forward to developing a long-term partnership to expand STEAM education. Also, thank you to Don Burley (Director of District Operations), Marilyn Stinson (Elementary Technology Coach), Chad Lensman (GMS Principal), and Lisa Crutchfield from St. Paris Library for working to develop this grant. With this grant, we are going to be able to provide high quality, real world, learning experiences for not only our students, but students across the Miami Valley by providing a unique, all-inclusive outdoor education experience that focuses on STEAM.”

This marks the fifth year of the Battelle STEM grant program. The goal is to create out-of-classroom STEM experiences in the central-Ohio area. Leslie Vesha from Battelle stated, “Competition was at an all-time high: 43 applications were submitted with a total request of over $2.2 million. Graham’s proposal was highly ranked by our team of readers.” Graham was the only public school awarded a grant during the past cycle.

The team is in the planning stages of design for the Greenhouse which will be located adjacent to the middle school in order for solar panels to be installed, and the ability to collect water off of the roof. The first planting is currently planned for March of 2018 after construction has been completed.

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