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Heatherwood Middle School PTA receives $1,000 STEM grant

Students worked with their parents using kits from Microsoft's HACKING STEM program to build sensors to control a "mechanical finger." Photo courtesy of Heatherwood PTA.
Students worked with their parents using kits from Microsoft's HACKING STEM program to build sensors to control a "mechanical finger." Photo courtesy of Heatherwood PTA.

By Heatherwood PTA President Kim Kuhne.

National PTA and Microsoft have awarded Heatherwood PTA with a $1,000 grant to engage families in technology education. Heatherwood PTA is one of only 35 local PTAs nationwide selected to receive a grant through the STEM + Families initiative.

The grant recognizes Heatherwood PTA’s leadership and commitment to increasing access to STEM—particularly technology—experiences for Mill Creek children and families.

“We know—and decades of research proves—that families play a critical role in children’s academic success. We also know that parents and guardians have the biggest influence on a child’s educational and career decisions,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA.

He went on to say, “Family engagement is essential to strengthen STEM education, bridge the STEM gap and help all children realize their fullest potential. We’re thrilled to empower Heatherwood PTA with resources to engage families in technology education.”

STEM + Families is a national effort to engage entire families in STEM experiences at school, at home, in the community and with digital learning environments to support their students’ success in STEM.

The goal of the initiative is to fill a critical gap in STEM education, increase access to STEM experiences for all students and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals. National PTA launched STEM + Families with the support of Microsoft.

With the grant from National PTA and Microsoft, Heatherwood PTA will:

  • Engage families in a Tech Night featuring a hands-on STEM learning activity.
  • Educate families about STEM careers and empower them to support their children’s success in STEM.
  • Connect families and students to technology enrichment opportunities.

There are so many opportunities for today’s students to have careers in STEM. Activities like this give students a glimpse into some options that they won’t see in the traditional classroom.

Heatherwood Middle School student with Microsoft's Hacking STEM kit. Photo courtesy of Heatherwood PTA.

Heatherwood Middle School student with Microsoft's Hacking STEM kit. Photo courtesy of Heatherwood PTA.

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