The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation announced Monday the organization will match up to $41,000 in community donations to expand science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – programs in Bartlesville’s six elementary schools.
The announcement came Monday during the Bartlesville Public School Board of Education meeting at the Education Service Center, 1100 SW Jennings. Justin Krebbs with the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation said the donation will help start Project Lead the Way, a STEM curricula specialized for elementary students.
“So far, we’ve already gotten close to $10,000 in verbal commitments (for the donation match),” Krebbs said. “There seems to be some interest out there from people talking about what they can do.”
Project Lead the Way is designed to help younger students apply STEM principles through a hands-on approach to solve complex, open-ended problems in a real-world context. Krebbs said the launch of the program will help prepare the younger students for the school district’s existing STEM courses at the secondary school level.
The advancement of the state-of-the-art STEM programs in Bartlesville’s secondary schools was spurred by a $1.7 million donation from Phillips 66 to build expansive Innovation Labs at the two middle schools and the high school. The program has doubled in size in just one year, now serving almost 1,400 students.
“We certainly appreciate (the foundation’s) support in our efforts to build STEM to the elementary level,” BPSD Superintendent Chuck McCauley said.
To add to the matching grant from the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation, the public can donate to the Bartlesville Community Foundation with a note for the donation to go to the BPSF Launch Challenge Grant. Additional information is available by calling the BCF at 918-337-2287 or online at http://www.bartlesvillecf.org.