Dempsey Middle School in Delaware was recently selected to receive a grant of $5,000 to purchase more STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) equipment.
Collin Chambers, a sixth grade teacher at Dempsey, said he applied for the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) grant in December 2021 in order to get new equipment for the STEM lab at the school. The grant is funded by Battelle.
Chambers said the class is a nine-week course that offers students hands-on STEM lessons.
“I’ve had students come in with minimal understanding and leave passionate about (STEM),” he said. “I applied so that I could get more hands-on materials in the classroom to build those skills and how they are used in the real world.”
Chambers said the class focuses on teaching lessons that will build “21st century skills” like critical thinking , being able to collaborate, working as team, leadership, taking initiative and digital citizenship.
He added he was “ecstatic” when he heard the school had been selected for the grant.
“I was so excited to hear that we got accepted for it because of the potential it has for our students and our community,” Chambers said. “I’m excited about it. I couldn’t be any happier, and I’m grateful that Battelle and the Ohio STEM Learning Network decided to fund us.”
Chambers said he is currently meeting with the district’s technology department to discuss the best equipment to get, and he’d like to get a 3D printer for all teachers and students at Dempsey to learn about and experiment with.
“STEM is important because of how applicable it is for students in and out of the classroom,” Chambers said. “We talk a lot about problem solving and using things like the engineering and design process to help solve problems. STEM is important because as a field, it’s growing rapidly and they are dealing with lots of shortage. Hopefully, having students develop that mindset will help them fill up those vacancies in the future and help them be passionate as well.”
Chambers said by making the new equipment accessible to everyone, he hopes to show students that anyone can get into STEM.
“(It’s about) showing students that STEM is for everybody. Regardless of your identity or your demographics, STEM is something you can do,” Chambers said. “(I’m focused on) making it accessible and helping everyone understand that it’s important that they understand how to work with it. I’ve seen a lot of students develop a passion for it.”
Chamber’s class was one of 151 in the state selected for a grant from OSLN, the organization reported.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.