STEUBENVILLE — The Quest Alternative School has received a $5,000 grant to grow STEM learning for students.
The site, which is operated through the Jefferson County Educational Service Center, received the money for its project “A Quest for STEM,” through the Ohio STEM Learning Network Classroom Grant Program and funds were derived from Battelle, a Columbus-based company that conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers.
According to Battelle officials, the grant was among 233 awarded this fall to create sustainable, STEM learning projects and the program reached students in one of every seven school districts across 60 Ohio counties.
“Every student should have access to the kind of quality STEM education that drives opportunity for families and leads to new jobs in their local communities” said Kelly Gaier Evans, director of the Ohio STEM Learning Network. “This program connects champions of STEM in local communities to a broad and deep network of STEM schools, STEM resources, and peer-educators.”
Alternative School Director Vance Miller said officials learned of the award earlier this month and the funding will be used to acquire STEM kits for lab projects.
“With the current climate of education and many local schools offering more STEM-based curricula, we wanted to allow our students to continue STEM-based projects and studies while placed at the alternative school,” he said. “We are learning what STEM is and how we can better utilize STEM projects within our current curriculum.”
Miller added that students use various educational technology in the classroom as well as real-life problem-solving skills and solutions, noting his gratitude to JCESC Director of Grants Nicole McDonald for obtaining the funds.
“We are very humbled and excited to receive this grant, for it will fund beginner kits for our students to learn hands-on STEM activities and projects,” Miller said. “Efforts from McDonald made this all possible, and the alternative school is very thankful for her work and support in this endeavor.”
Quest Alternative School offers alternative placement for students from Jefferson and Harrison counties, and is based at 256 John Scott Highway in Steubenville. About 15-20 students are typically housed at the site per day and receive the educational tools they need to learn. Meanwhile, Battelle officials stated the grant program fosters the growth of the Ohio STEM Learning Network as a public-private partnership between Battelle and the State of Ohio. Ensuring all students develop the skills to be successful in science, technology, engineering and math fields is Battelle’s top philanthropic priority.
“Battelle is proud to invest in expanding the reach of the Ohio STEM Learning Network, the state’s primary vehicle for advancing STEM across Ohio,” said Wes Hall, vice president of philanthropy and education. “These grants empower educators in all corners of the state to shape the next generation of solvers.”