BCSD awarded DoD grant to expand STEM programming

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From staff reports 

Six Beaufort County School District schools will benefit from a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to be dispersed over a five-year period. 

DoDEA’s aim is to ensure all military-connected K-12 students have access to quality educational opportunities through engagement in partnerships with school districts and professional organizations by providing evidence-based resources and supports to increase understanding and awareness related to the unique challenges faced by military-connected students and families. 

“As a Military Purple Star District, we always strive to serve our military students who often have to attend multiple schools during their educational career due to their family’s many required moves,” Superintendent Frank Rodriguez said in a release. “As a result, sometimes our military students miss learning opportunities offered to their non-military peers and this DoDEA grant affords us the opportunity to further support their educational needs.” 

This grant will provide Coosa, Broad River, Lady’s Island, Pritchardville, Port Royal, and Beaufort elementary schools, as well as Lady’s Island and Beaufort middle schools, with the college and career ready resources necessary to successfully build and/or expand the district’s STEM programming. 

A key focus of the grant is for military-connected students in Grades 3-8 to increase their mathematic achievement through in-class curriculum and instructional support with an emphasis on South Carolina’s Computer Science and Digital Literacy Standards. In-class technology supports will be enhanced with additional 3D printers, robotics, and graphing calculators. Extracurricular enhancement activities, such as STEM summer camps and family STEM nights, will also be implemented. 

According to the Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (CoSTEM) Education of the National Science and Technology Council, it is critical to our national security that our students spark interest in critical and fast-growing careers in STEM and our PreK-12 education system is poised to increase and sustain student engagement in STEM. 

The DoDEA awarded $22 million across 21 grants as part of its 2020 Cohort. These grants serve more than 100,000 students across 13 states. 

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