Utah State University Extension 4-H in Washington County recently selected Coral Canyon Elementary School as its first science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — or STEM — partner school through an evaluation process that considered the school’s demographics, diversity, and leadership aptitude of administration and faculty.
“We are honored to be selected for this recognition and designation as a USU Extension 4-H STEM Partner School,” said Warrin Richins, Title 1 coordinator at Coral Canyon Elementary School. “The objective of this partnership is to provide more enriching STEM resources and opportunities to our students.”
In this new partnership, USU Extension 4-H will provide the school with access to STEM resources such as micro-controllers, soldering and robotics kits, and computer science curriculum. The partnership also includes ongoing professional development and support for administration and faculty.
The partnership began in September with a grant-writing workshop that helped Coral Canyon apply for $100,000 in funding from the Utah STEM Action Center to start computer science and robotics afterschool 4-H clubs.
“The support from USU 4-H is already paying off,” Richins said. “Just last month we were notified by the STEM Action Center that our grant application was accepted.”
This funding comes as Google and 4-H partner on a new computer science and computational thinking initiative.
“We are enthusiastic about this new relationship with Coral Canyon Elementary and the funding that will bring cutting edge STEM education to their students,” said Paul Hill, associate professor at Utah State University Extension. “An understanding of computer science is increasingly essential in today’s world, and whether these youth want to become pilots, farmers, doctors, teachers, or entrepreneurs, they will be better positioned to achieve their dreams in the 21st century if they have some type of background in computer science and computational thinking. By teaching students to program, we also open up their minds to the possibilities of solving problems in novel ways.”