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Mason Creek Elementary Receives Google Community Grant

 STEM teacher Sarah Anthony and Principal Kathleen French pose with a kindergarten STEM class. All students at Mason Creek Elementary are learning a variety of STEM topics such as engineering design, coding, computer- assisted design, 3 act task in math, scientific method, discovery learning, performance tasks and phenomena.
STEM teacher Sarah Anthony and Principal Kathleen French pose with a kindergarten STEM class. All students at Mason Creek Elementary are learning a variety of STEM topics such as engineering design, coding, computer- assisted design, 3 act task in math, scientific method, discovery learning, performance tasks and phenomena.

Mason Creek Elementary School was grateful to accept a $26,000 Google Community Grant from the Google Data Centers Grants Fund of Tides Foundation. 

The Google Community Grant was awarded in October and will be used to purchase the Project Lead the Way STEM curriculum and modules, robotics and automation equipment along with a 3D printer and bins to recycle plastic for each grade level. The funds will allow Mason Creek, already a leader in STEM education, to implement a complete STEM curriculum school-wide. 

“These new resources will allow us to meet the State of Georgia’s rigorous science and mathematics standards while also providing additional equipment to make these subjects come alive for our students, preparing them for the remainder of their educational journeys and future careers in a global economy,” said Kathleen French, Principal of Mason Creek Elementary School. “With this grant, we can continue to honor our commitment to the community and our environment while preparing students for college and careers that will impact our world in a positive and productive manner.” 

Earlier this year, Mason Creek Elementary faculty and staff started a three-year implementation phase to gain official certification as a STEM school. As part of that implementation, all K-5 students will have a STEM enrichment teacher who will provide them with hands on, performance-based activities. 

The new curriculum will strengthen an already exemplary program at Mason Creek. In the 2014-2015 school year, the school created a robotics club and won second place in the Google Gravity Games, a gravity-only car race competition designed to get young students involved with STEM subjects. In 2015-2016, the school’s team won the competition and in 2016-2017 placed second. They have now added a second robotics team and established an all-girls coding club. 

The school hopes to earn AdvancED STEM certification within three to five years. 

“We are excited to be a part of the growing STEM program at Mason Creek Elementary School,” said Gary Lahr from Google. “Engaging students in science, technology, engineering and math at an early age will help build their confidence, grow their interest and prepare them for success both in the classroom and in their careers.”

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