On March 6, 2020, Versacare Foundation awarded $1,420,000 in grant funding to 189 Adventist primary and secondary schools across Canada and United States in support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Four Wisconsin schools were recipients of the grant monies awarded. They are:
1. Jim Muhlenbeck, Principal of Bethel Junior Academy, is looking forward to using the $5,000 to buy and install a smart board in his classroom.
2. Rick Blumenschein, Principal of Green Bay Adventist Junior Academy, was awarded a $5,000 grant to better equip the science curriculum for grades 7-10. Hands on technology will include Simple Machines, K’nex building sets, 3D printer, Ozobot coding robots, Hydrogen fuel cells, and littleBits Electronic Circuits.
3. Tiffany Meulemans, 5-8 teacher at Petersen Elementary School requested funding to support upgrading technology devices in the lower-grade classroom. The school was awarded $5,000 which will help purchase a class set of iPads for grades K-4, and Osmo learning materials which combine physical manipulatives with game play on the iPad.
4. George Levy, Technology Teacher at Three Angels Christian School applied for the Versacare grant and was awarded $5,000. Levy won the grant with his robotics technology plan for grades 1-8. The grant monies will be used to purchase Cubelets Mini Makers Pack (where students learn tactile coding) and Cubelets Blockly (how to code the robots) for grades 1-4. Discover Robotics & Programming I Club Pack will be utilized for grades 5-8 so the older students will exercise greater control over the final build and behavior of their robots. Students will be able to easily move past the basic understanding of robotics and explore more challenging concepts. A 3D printer and Smart Document Camera will be used to enable students to make 3D models of objects and print. (pictures below are from Three Angels Christian School)
The Versacare Foundation is an independent, self-funded, private foundation comprised of both lay Adventists and present and former Adventist church employees. This foundation started supporting varied ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with grant funding in 1990 and has awarded more than $28,250,000 in grants.
Five years ago, the Versacare Foundation starting funding STEM grants for schools. Three years ago they began funding every school who applied for the STEM grant. STEM funds can be used to purchase, smart boards, tablets or Chromebooks for student use, robotic programs, computer labs, instillation of 3D printers and related software, equipping chemistry, physics and biology labs, and more. The STEM grant program has provided funding in the three categories:
*$5,000 for smaller schools of three classrooms or less
*$10,000 for larger schools of four or more classrooms and 12-year schools
*$10,000 for senior academies
Congratulations to the four schools! We look forward to hearing how you will integrate this new technology.
Sue Nelson, Superintendent of Education
For more information about the Versacare Foundation’s grant program please visit www.versacare.org