2018-10-04 / Community News

SacoSTEAM awards first school grant

SacoSTEAM, Saco’s new K-8 educational foundation, has awarded its inaugural grant to support the expansion of the Lego Robotics curriculum to cover the entire fourth grade at C.K Burns school.

SacoSTEAM’s is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose focus is enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education in Saco’s K-8 school system through advocacy, community building and direct giving to teacher-initiated projects.

Lego Robotics programs exist nationwide and deliver a hands-on curriculum designed to teach students key skills in engineering, computer science, problem solving, collaboration and communication skills, and resilience. C.K. Burns had an existing LEGO robotics team that worked on skills and traveled to regional competitions, but participation was limited.

The $2,500 grant from SacoSTEAM will allow teachers Holly Trottier and Ann Marie Hann to expand the number of students who can be participate to the fourth grade by paying for six new EV3 units and associated materials.

“Every fourth grader will complete a LEGO robotics coding challenge,” Trottier said.

“And we’re really happy that our after school LEGO Robotics Team will be able to better tackle the competition challenges by having multiple robots running various challenges simultaneously,” Hann added.

“LEGO Robotics is exactly the type of program that Saco STEAM wants to support more of,” said Tony Palleschi, foundation president. “It engages our children in skills and teamwork that will help prepare them for a complex technological world, and because it will now be available to all fourth grade students, it will eventually benefit every Saco student.”

Although SacoSTEAM only funded a single project for its inaugural year, it hope to fund many more projects through an open call for grants during the next funding round. More information is available at https://www.sacosteam.org/grants/. The foundation is in the process of raising funds from local philanthropists and businesses. Potential donors should reach out to SacoSTEAM via board@sacosteam.org or https://www.sacosteam.org/ donate/.

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