STEM Hub microgrants announced

The Columbia Gorge STEM Hub recently announced the recipients of the spring 2018 STEM Educator Microgrants. These ideas for innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) were selected by a committee from a competitive pool.

Winning proposals demonstrated a focus on equity, expanding STEM opportunities, cost effectiveness, and potential for lasting impact:

Grow Light — Megan Ferrell, Westside Elementary; to purchase an indoor grow light for students to learn about plant life cycles and experience growing their own food.

South Wasco STEAM — A. Anderson, South Wasco County School; to send the STEAM Activity Club to the 2019 Destination Imagination tournament.

Makey Makeys — Rebekah Rottenberg, Hood River Middle School; to purchase Makey Makey controllers for use in computer coding classes.

Bloxels— Matthew Gerlick, Hood River County School District; to purchase Bloxels sets to be checked out to teachers for classroom projects and for use in the STEAM Bus.

Discovery Center Field Trip — Brittney Bauer, Westside Elementary; to tour the museum and watch the live Birds of Prey show after learning about birds in the classroom.

The proposals awarded this cycle truly emphasized the lasting impact their projects will have on students, said Columbia Gorge STEM Hub Communication and Project Assistants Lisa Bren and Christy Christopher in a press release.

“For example, Megan Ferrell of Westside Elementary said, ‘Year after year, students will be able to learn first-hand about the life cycle of plants’ using the grow light she is purchasing for her classroom with the funds.

According to Rebekah Rottenberg, the Makey Makeys she will purchase with the funds will leave students, ‘with a greater understanding of computer code, circuits, and a greater ability to work through tech related problems.’

All of these projects show a desire to expand STEM opportunities for our students, ‘with our technology roll out and student interest in video games we are poised for a creative technological future,’ predicted Matthew Gerlick of Hood River County School District.”

These grants are made possible by the Columbia Gorge STEM Hub, which is funded by the Oregon Department of Education.

The hub partners with local schools, businesses, and non-profits to expand STEM opportunities for all students in the Columbia River Gorge.

To find out more about the STEM Hub, join the coalition, or make a donation to support similar grants, by visiting

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