Forget frog dissections and pH experiments. Le Roy Central School District in Genesee County, New York is redefining the typical high school science experience.
The district received a $10,000 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Bayer Fund. This money funded lab equipment and instructional materials for upper-level high school students for innovative, hands-on experiences.
Shifting Students’ Attitudes Toward STEM
With the grant money, Le Roy Central School District is increasing students’ interest, understanding and access to biotechnology and STEM careers through new biotechnology kits and equipment.
The largest impact of the program has been student engagement. Students describe activities with the new equipment as “the most cool and fun stuff we’ve done all year,” and it’s inspiring these students to develop their love of science. Many have expressed a new interest in enrolling in AP science courses, which can boost GPAs as well as enhance college applications. On top of all this, students are showing an increased depth of knowledge of the terms, methods and benefits of biotechnology.
Preparing for Successful Futures
As employment in STEM occupations continues to rise — more than 817,000 STEM jobs were added to the American economy between May 2009 and May 2015 — so does the need for more students to pursue STEM fields.
America’s Farmers is hoping to help fill that gap. The new program in Le Roy Central School District has better-equipped students for higher learning and the workforce by exposing them to STEM experiences early on. The sophisticated equipment and techniques enable students to be more prepared for college interviews, college biology courses and possible future careers. Seniors in the district who are taking AP science courses have expressed greater interest in further exploring scientific fields in college.
Transforming Schools with Grow Rural Education
Grow Rural Education has awarded over $16 million in grants for rural schools since 2011, giving students nationwide — like those in Le Roy Central School District — the chance to experience a new way of STEM learning. Whether it’s new labs, equipment and resources for STEM classes, or an entire weather forecasting station that not only engages students in the classroom but also warns a community of hazardous weather, schools are transforming education with their grants.
The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is changing STEM education one nomination at a time. Are you an American farmer with a deserving local public school in mind? With your nomination, they could be awarded $10,000 or $25,000 grants to help enrich today’s students for a brighter tomorrow. Learn how farmers can nominate a school in their local districts today.