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New Grants to Fuel STEM Learning in Washington State

A set of private grants totaling $1.2 million is supporting an array of STEM activities in Washington state, including "small entrepreneur awards" and larger grants, such as $460,000 for a University of Washington initiative to improve math and science teaching practices in two districts.

"We're supporting innovative educators and researchers as they develop new techniques for teaching science, technology, engineering, and math," said Patrick D'Amelio, the CEO of Washington STEM, a statewide nonprofit group, in a press release. "And we're taking the very best of those STEM practices and positioning them to scale up so all kids can benefit."

One of the smaller grants, $25,000 to two education service districts, will help teachers create simple interactive kits that families in the Yakama Nation and Colville Federated Tribes can use to improve young children's knowledge through hands-on learning experiences.

Here's a sampling of the other grants from Washington STEM, which were announced last week:

• $215,000 to the University of Washington Tacoma for a math-science leadership program working to support students in grades 6-12 in the Tacoma school district;

• $16,000 to the Brewster school district for a Renewable Energy Lab project to engage middle- and high-school students in hands-on explorations;

• $10,000 to the Ellensburg school district for a project bringing together students in robotics and AP biology to explore how robotics can enhance biotechnology research; and

• $2,700 to the Wenatchee school district to align its 5th grade math and science curriculum to reinforce problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in both subjects.

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