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Kennewick Teachers Receive STEM Grants

Kennewick Teachers Receive STEM Grants
STEM Like Me! Grants 2022

Three Kennewick School District teachers have been awarded grants to bring STEM learning to life in their classrooms.

The STEM Like Me! grants are through the Dream Builders Educational Foundation in partnership with the Mid-Columbia STEM Network.  

The grant recipients are:

  • Crystal Green, Park Middle School, $1,000
  • Dayna Hillman, Westgate Elementary, $1,000
  • Julie Rheinschmidt, Mid-Columbia Partnership, $950

Green, a support services teacher at Park, will use her grant award for a STEM garden project. Students in two of her classes will participate, along with residents of the Brookdale Canyon Lakes retirement community. "Through experiential education, our students will create their own space to interact with nature, learn how to increase food and food system literacy, expand opportunities to interact with land and food, and encourage collaboration and decision-making. Most importantly, students will be taught self-reliance, where they are given the tools to address food insecurity," Green said.

Hillman, the librarian at Westgate, will use her grant on a "STEM in the Library" project showing students how STEM subjects connect to real-world situations and careers. "The money from this grant will allow students to have hands-on experience with the ideas presented in the literature we read in the library. Some are science experiments, some have an engineering focus, etc.," she said. "For example, for the book, The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field, students created their own floating platform capable of holding weight using toothpicks and marshmallows. Later in the year we will read XO, Exoplanet and create a model solar system with balloons and playdough to discuss relative size. For the book, The Old Man and the Penguin: A True Story about Friendship, we will look at the properties of liquid and how oil impacts penguin habitats."

Rheinschmidt, a middle school math and science teacher at Mid-Columbia Partnership, will use her grant for an engineering project involving motorized gear-driven cars. "Using the SAE International Motorized Toy Car Project, students will be learning about the engineering design process, gear rotation, ratios, compound gears, formulas and torque. This project will allow students to see math and science in real-life situations. The added benefit of this project is the element of designing to meet the desires of a consumer. Students develop their art skills and communication skills as they try to sell their proposals and products to a specific audience," she said.