The Washington State STEM Education Foundation Gets $200,000 to - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Washington State STEM Education Foundation Gets $200,000 to Spread the Success

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The grant will allow STEM to reach more students in the area. The grant will allow STEM to reach more students in the area.
TRI-CITIES, WA- Washington STEM granted the Washington State STEM Education Foundation $200,000 to launch a new Mid-Columbia branch in the Tri-Cities.

The Tri-Cities is considered the blueprint for other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs across the state.  With this grant, they can expand their vision. 

Washington STEM, which is the statewide organization, gave the Washington State STEM education Foundation a $200,000 grant to build and improve their already booming STEM system and to launch the Mid-Columbia STEM Network that will be headquartered in the Tri-Cities.

“Partnering with Washington STEM provides that platform so we can have those communication pathways beyond just the local community,” said Tom Yount, Washington State STEM Education Foundation Board Chairman.

They want to build STEM awareness by building the brand on the statewide and nationwide level.

“We'll be using some of the grant money to help get STEM education out to other kids in the community and trying to affect more kids locally and in the Mid-Columbia.

Washington State STEM Education Foundation is satisfied with what STEM does for kids.

“I've talked to a couple of parents and the kids, they won't stop talking about what they did at school,” said Megan Nelson, director of STEM and Instructional Technology.

STEM uses a “hands on, minds on” approach to teach kids.  The kids build robots and computers and learn how things work by actually doing them.  Nelson said education changes as technology changes.

“By the time they graduate, the whole world's going to look different.  They have to not only learn the technology and the information now, but they have to be able to adapt it later,” said Nelson.

The STEM system in the Tri-Cities has reached out to kids that normally would not be engaged in class. 

“Kids who maybe have never been engaged before or maybe had more problems at school, all of a sudden are connecting and they see that school is a vital important role, which catching them early is so important,” said Nelson.

They hope to keep expanding to reach as many kids as they can and to keep bringing new ideas about STEM to the rest of the state.

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