One fantastic example of a Payroll Deduction Grant program is the STEM Challenge that Tami Arthur and Erin Blatnica put together for kindergarteners at Grindstone Elementary. What’s a STEM Challenge? STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. At the kindergarten level, STEM challenges involve learning to manipulate, sort, and create using materials like puzzles, mazes, pattern blocks, and magnetic objects.
Mrs. Arthur and Mrs. Blatnica used grant funds to purchase STEM Table Tub supplies, and replaced written bell work with stimulating problem-solving activities each day. Students get to explore and construct new structures using fun manipulatives every weekday morning. In addition to problem solving, the kids learn how to share, take turns, and work together through verbal communication.
The Stem Challenge is popular with students, who had great things to say about the program. Devya said, "I liked when we were building a house with sticks for the Three Little Pigs. It made me so happy to build a house that was strong." Carra was excited about engineering, saying, "It was super fun to do the sled challenge because we got to see how far our sled would go!" Bentley agreed, "I learned how to make a sled go really far. We have to build a good ramp."
Many thanks to Mrs. Arthur and Mrs. Blatnica for building a great opportunity for these students. It’s going to help them go really far.