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Brewster Central Schools Receive $52K Grant for STEM Learning

Brewster Superintendent Valerie Henning-Piedmonte Photo Credit: Provided
Brewster High School Photo Credit: brewsterschools.org

Sixty percent of new jobs in the 21st century will be in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math or STEM. But only 20 percent of the workforce will have the knowledge and skills to fill those jobs.

That’s why, the Brewster Central School District is embarking on an initiative to help its students become scientific thinkers.

Thanks to a $52,400 grant from the New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal, an insurance company serving school districts, Brewster Schools will have access to training and educational materials from JASON Learning, a not-for-profit founded by Dr. Robert Ballard to promote STEM literacy.

The grant will provide the district with access to JASON’s digital library and training for 30 teachers on how to implement JASON’s inquiry-based science curricula in the classroom.

JASON Learning seeks to create deep connections with real-world STEM role models, develop STEM literacy and engagement among parents and community, increase teacher efficacy in STEM instruction and foster partnerships with local businesses and community groups.

“This is a robust and exciting way to get children interested in STEM,” said Brewster Superintendent Valerie Henning-Piedmonte, who learned about JASON during a professional conference and sought out the grant.

“Without the grant, the challenge would have been figuring out which grade to implement the program in because we could not afford to do it K-12,” she said.

In addition to the digital library and training, the district will have the opportunity to send one person to JASON’s Argonaut Program, which allows participants to travel to research locations around the world to work side-by-side with scientists and engineers. The district will also be able to send two educators to JASON’s National Educators’ Conference.

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