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HAEE awards Hampton grant for STEAM room

| Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

The Hampton Alliance for Educational Excellence will be providing a $25,000 grant to the school district for a middle school STEAM Collaboration Center.

This is one of the largest grants that the HAEE has provided for the district, according to Cathy Lueers, who serves as board member and liaison to the group.

The center will be used specifically for project-based learning experiences, STEAM activities, robotics, and creative ideas enhanced by technology, according to Marlynn Lux, principal for the middle school. It should promote “student collaboration and productivity.”

“We are very excited and grateful to HAEE for this grant at HMS. We cannot wait for our students to benefit from a room that promotes this kind of thinking and learning,” said Lux.

Located in a large space of the technology wing, It will also have flexible furniture, soft seating for “brainstorming,” white boards around the perimeter of the room, green screen for video production, a Smart board, and mini televisions in sections.

Lux collaborated with Technology Director Ed McKaveney, Curriculum Director Jackie Removcik, technology education teacher Glenn Geary, and enrichment facilitator Gwen Cohen in the initial brainstorming sessions.

It was initially supposed to be a metal shop classroom which never came to fruition and was being used as storage space. The large space is able to house two classroom of students if desired. This will promote “cross-curricular” activities, said Lux.

The goal is to have it ready by the second semester, she said.

Nonprofit HAEE specifically provides for the students at the Hampton Township School District. However, teachers, educators or even students must apply for grants if they are requesting one.

There were several needs the middle school had to meet before they were approved for the $25,000, said Lueers.

Trisha Webb, a representative of the HAEE, said they often support projects that are really innovative and different. This project was repurposing a large space that wasn't really being used.

“We were really excited about it and we thought it was a great fit,” said Webb, who has two children in Central Elementary. The HAEE voted for it unanimously.

In 2016 they awarded $56,538 in grants, which is the largest since 2000. In 2017 so far, they have awarded $35,212 in grants, said Webb.

Since it began in 1991, more than $500,000 has been given to HTSD in grants.

There are also two scholarship opportunities for Hampton seniors.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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