YUMA – (KSWT News 13) - Seven Arizona school districts will share a $1.85 million grant over the next three years.
The largest chunk of the grant, $421,000, is going to Yuma Elementary School District 1.
The money will be spent on science, technology, engineering and math learning resources.
Education leaders say kids enrolled in 3rd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade will benefit the most in the short-term.
But they add, everyone in the Yuma public education system is likely to see positive effects from this grant.
"I'm really proud of our school system for being able to offer first-class education to our kids," says Darwin Stiffler, Superintendent of Yuma Elementary School District 1.
Ten of their schools will share a the grant to expand their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.
"It buys technology and training and extra science for our third, fourth and fifth graders," says Stiffler, though other students and grades will benefit as well.
Each school will get a supply of Apple I-Pads based on student population. Also part of the grant, digital microscopes for Grades 5 through 8.
And it's not just a win for elementary and middle schools. The education and training this grant provides will give teachers and students alike, key tools for the years ahead.
"This grant will do so much for those students in preparing them for high-school and beyond," says Toni Badone, Superintendent of Yuma Union High School District.
Beyond high school and college lies the workforce. Jobs. All too often, high-tech jobs in Yuma are filled by outsiders. But science funding like the Helios grant could change that trend.
"Every job that I know that is out there in Yuma is related to STEM: to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics professions. Everything from engineering to the medical sciences, especially agriculture and all the innovation going on in Yuma, really demands it. So this is super exciting and we're happy for Yuma Elementary District 1," says Badone.
The Helios STEM Grant is a three-year pilot program.
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