Supporters who visit the FabSchoolLabs page on Facebook this Friday, and only this Friday, could help William James Middle School win $100,000 for a makeover of its STEM lab into a state-of-the-art space for project-based learning.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM teachers provide additional learning experiences, emphasizing teamwork and creative problem solving, outside of students’ regular math and science classes. One example, in which some William James students have excelled at a national level, is programming robots to perform certain tasks.
William James Middle School STEM director Amy Smith, who makes it a STEAM program by adding art, developed a proposal for an expanded lab and submitted it to the Northrop Grumman Foundation’s Fab School Labs makeover contest.
William James Middle School, a Statesboro campus of the Bulloch County school system, is one of 25 public middle school semifinalists across the nation, and the foundation intends to award $100,000 each to five of the schools for STEM lab makeovers.
More information is available at www.fabschoollabs.com. But again, the place to vote is the Facebook page, FabSchoolLabs, and Friday, Dec. 9, is the day when WJMS supporters can make their support count. It will be one of five schools competing for votes that day.
At WJMS, the $100,000 would go toward these items for the lab:
* Updated electronics, including iPads for the classroom.
* Group lab tables, where teams can work together.
* Updated project storage inside the classroom.
* A storage building with a roll-up door for major projects and equipment.
* A small greenhouse for hydroponics.
* 3-D printers to fabricate parts and inventions.
* A larger tank for underwater robotics.